Giuliana Rancic is opening up about her decision to leave her longtime hosting role at E! News.
Ahead of the entertainment show’s move from Los Angeles to New York City in January, the E! host announced on Oct. 23 that she will no longer be working full-time at the network when the program relocates.
In an interview with PEOPLE, the red carpet veteran further detailed why she has decided to leave her TV home of over a decade. (She briefly left E! News from 2015-2018.)
“The decision for E! News was one that really came from wanting to be with family more, and focusing and spending as much time as possible with family,” Giuliana tells PEOPLE. “And then also having that flexibility to give 100 percent to our restaurants and our other businesses — to be doing things that we’re really passionate about. So it’s nice though to be able to still kind of stay and do it all.”
Though Giuliana will no longer be a part of the daily E! News show, she will continue to host their Live from the Red Carpet events as well as other E! specials.
“E! News will always be part of my heart. It’s my first big show on TV, and I’ve been at E! now since 2002. It’s been an incredible home away from home and continues to be,” she says. “So they’re family, and I hope will be at E! for many, many years to come, and they have been so supportive. Truly, I mean it’s just an incredible family to have. But it is nice having a little more flexibility.”
The host and entrepreneur — who boasts her own fashion and beauty brands in addition to working alongside her husband, Bill Rancic, 48, growing their RPM Restaurants empire in Chicago and other cities — thanks her longtime fans for their support.
“The sentiments I receive from people, I mean, it’s incredible. The nicest messages, I read all of them,” she says. “The fact that people take time out of their lives to write kind words and share something beautiful with you — and encourage you from all over the world — what an amazing gift. And I don’t take that lightly at all.”
And having more time and flexibility has not only allowed Giuliana to spend more moments with her family but also to focus on the couple’s passion projects, including their partnership with Astellas Oncology’s C3 Prize — a competition program that allows anyone to submit an innovative non-treatment idea to help those struggling with the everyday complexities that cancer brings.
This year, Bill, who helped judge the competition, awarded the $100,000 grand prize to Toronto-based cancer survivor and mother of four Audrey Guth, founder of Nanny Angel Network. The winning organization trains “Nanny Angels” to provide mothers battling cancer with free childcare once a week for a year, helping to give families a stable support system during challenging times.
“It was tough. We had three female entrepreneurs as finalists, all very deserving … ultimately we had one grand prize winner, and she was awarded the $100000 grant,” Bill says of Guth’s Nanny Angels Network, explaining that the grant will help the winner get her organization up and running.
“And they rely 100 percent volunteers, so school teachers, nurses, social workers — these are all people who volunteer,” he continues. “All the attention and this platform is going to help them get more volunteers, which without the volunteers, there’s no Nanny Angel Network. So, the exposure that we’re able to give them through this is really something special.”
Giuliana, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, expresses her love of the winning idea, saying how difficult it would have been to care for her 7-year-old son, Duke, in addition to going through her own cancer struggle if she had had him at the time.
“I can’t even imagine how much scarier that experience would have been,” she says. “So you just really feel for parents who are going through cancer, which is hard enough, but then to worry about their kids and if the kids being cared for while they’re going to appointments, and how are they going to juggle that — it’s really special. We’re very happy for her.”
In June 2018, PEOPLE exclusively announced that Giuliana was returning to her old post.
“Returning to host E! News is every bit as thrilling to me today as it was 16 years ago when I joined the show and embarked on this wonderful career,” she said at the time.