Emmy-winning TV personality and best-selling author Debbie Matenopoulos will be named host of the syndicated entertainment news program “The Insider,” the show confirmed to TheWrap.
Matenopoulos will take the anchor chair beside co-host Louis Aguirre beginning July 6. She replaces Thea Andrews, a host since January 2013.
“Our audience really connects with Debbie and she has great chemistry with Louis and the team,” executive producer Brad Bessey told TheWrap in a statement. “She’s down-to-earth, plugged into celebrity news and pop-culture, has a vibrant personality and is a true industry insider. In many ways she is the personification of ‘The Insider’ brand.”
The newest hiring is just one of several changes that Bessey has made, in addition to shuffling existing talent, since taking control of “Insider” and its top-rated big sister “Entertainment Tonight” in April 2014. Popular soap veteran Cameron Mathison most recently joined “Entertainment Tonight” as weekend co-host and correspondent.
In 2013, CBS Television Distribution and Yahoo partnered to relaunch “The Insider” as “omg! Insider” with Andrews and Kevin Frazier at the helm. When Bessey landed the EP position at “ET” he moved Frazier over to co-host with veteran personality Nancy O’Dell, formerly of “Access Hollywood,” and hired Aguirre as Frazier’s replacement.
Matenopoulos’ name recognition could be just the reset the series needs, as it trails its lead-in “ET” in ratings. An original panelist on “The View,” she has previously served as special correspondent for “The Insider.” Most recently, she conducted a series of interviews with talk show trailblazers like Sally Jesse Raphael, Martha Stewart, Joy Behar and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Matenopoulos’ resume also includes hosting stints at E! as host of “The Daily 10,” TV Guide Channel, as well as authoring the cookbook “It’s All Greek To Me.” She welcomed daughter Alexandra in October 2014 with photographer husband Jon Falcone.
“The Insider,” produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution with Bessey and Monique Chenault serving as executive producers, is in it’s eleventh season.