Entertainment magazine show also adds “Fox Sports Live” co-host Charissa Thompson in wake of Maria Menounos’ departure
Insiders at “Extra” are grumbling at the hiring of Tracey Edmonds as co-host of the daily syndicated entertainment news magazine, saying the socialite and Hollywood producer is inexperienced and will need extensive training.
“Extra” announced on Thursday that she was hired in the wake of Maria Menounos’ departure last month. Edmonds will share hosting duties with Mario Lopez and “Fox Sports Live's” Charissa Thompson , starting on Sept. 8.
“I fainted when I learned” of Edmonds’ hiring, one insider at the show — who declined to be identified — told TheWrap. “Look what happened to those inexperienced daytime Emmy hosts on the red carpet.” The insider was referring to the disastrous hosting gig by social media stars Brittany Furlan, Lauren Elizabeth, Jessica Harlow and Meghan Rosette.
Hiring a celebrity at “Extra” is nothing new. In 2004, the show tapped Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath to co-host with seasoned broadcaster Dayna Devon. McGrath lasted a little less than four years, with current and long-running host Mario Lopez replacing him in 2008.
Still, “Extra's” casting of Edmonds has hit a sour note with some staffers.
But an individual close to the show categorized the claims of staffers taking issue with Edmonds’ hiring as “false” and speculated that they are coming from someone with an ax to grind.
While Edmonds does appear in front of the camera on the OWN series “Deion's Family Playbook” — which she executive produces — and appeared as a correspondent on a handful of “Extra” episodes last month, Edmonds, the CEO of production company Edmonds Entertainment, is primarily known as a producer, not a broadcaster.
However, “Extra” senior executive producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, who announced the hires on Thursday, characterized Edmonds as “one of the most accomplished television forces in Hollywood” who's “already a star with A-list relationships.”
Edmonds, meanwhile, said in a statement that she is “thrilled” to come aboard “Extra.”
The insider added that Edmonds has been undergoing intense voice and teleprompter training. A spokeswoman for “Extra” had no comment for TheWrap on the matter.
By contrast, Thompson has had stints on ESPN, Fox Sports Network and Versus among others, in addition to her “Fox Sports Live” run on Fox Sports 1.
The sportscaster said in a statement that her new gig is a “dream job.”
Also read: Maria Menounos Inks Overall Deal With E!
“Working for ‘Extra’ has always been a dream job for me. I met with Lisa G a few years ago and she didn't hire me — actually I'm not sure if she remembered me,” Thompson said. “I made it a goal of mine to work hard and get back in front of her to knock her socks off, and I guess I made a better second impression. Now everything has come full circle. I am so excited to be joining ‘Extra’ and can't wait to get started with Mario and Tracey and the whole team.”
As for Edmonds, the insider added that the show is betting that her deep celebrity contacts — she was previously married to musician Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, and was in a relationship with Eddie Murphy — will help the show.