Catt Sadler found herself at the center of a media firestorm back in December when she left her longtime gig with E! News after learning of a “massive pay discrepancy” between her and male colleague, Jason Kennedy. Six months later, the network has found a new show host with a face you just might recognize — former host Giuliana Rancic.
The news anchor made the announcement over on her Instagram account with a headshot from her earlier days, writing, “Where it all began… So thrilled to announce my return to @enews!!!! Excited to co-host with my BFF @thejasonkennedy and work with the brilliant team at my home away from home and to be in your living rooms once again! You’ve always been my baby, @enews. <3”
Kennedy also took to social media to welcome his co-worker back with a series of shots of the two of them together, writing, “What if I were to tell you that @giulianarancic is my new co-host? WELL IT’S HAPPENING AND I REFUSE TO TYPE IN LOWER CASE LETTERS UNTIL I SETTLE DOWN. #REUNITED.”
Rancic worked for the company for more than a decade before leaving to explore her own personal growth. “I was the main anchor for many years. It was an amazing job. I was like, ‘Everything is perfect. I shouldn’t feel this way,’ but I literally felt like I wasn’t growing and I had to do something else,” she told Moneyish back in 2015. “I felt like I did everything I wanted to do on the show.”
Maria Menounos took over for the mommy of one before stepping down in 2017 following a brain tumor diagnosis. Sadler filled in as a co-host of both E! News and Daily Pop before making her exit from the company. She is now working on a show about gender equality with Jennifer Lawrence.
Rancic was hosting the Golden Globes Red Carpet for E! in January when Debra Messing called the network out over its pay controversy. She did not directly reply to the comments, though she did thank the actress for “using her voice.”
E! responded to the complaints of gender discrimination directly with a statement from TV producer Frances Berwick. “Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries,” she said. “Catt was focused on daytime. Jason Kennedy is on prime, evening news, plus red carpet. Our employees’ salaries are based on their roles and their expertise, regardless of gender. So we wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that.”
The 43-year-old Rancic has not spoken on Sadler’s exit but previously told Moneyish that pay discrimination was never something she experienced with the company. “With me I always worked my tail off and I would get promoted based on the work I did,” she said.
What do you think of Giuliana’s decision to return? Sound off over on @BritandCo.
(Photos via Frederick M. Brown, Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage, + Jamie McCarthy/Getty)