Leeza Gibbons hopes her announcement on replacing Maureen O'Boyle as anchor of the newsmagazine Extra will finally put to rest those persistent rumors that she's after Kathie Lee Gifford's highly coveted throne on Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee.

"It seemed like the more that I said I wasn't going to [succeed Kathie Lee], the more [the rumor] kept circulating, so this should put an end to that," Gibbons tells TV Guide Online. "I adore Regis and I think that's the coolest job, but it's not for me. My family is based in L.A. [not Manhattan, where Live! tapes]."

Geography isn't the only perk of her new Extra gig. The former Entertainment Tonight personality ? whose self-titled talk show was recently axed after six years ? has signed a development deal with Telepictures (Extra's producer) and will now base her company there. What's more, as its executive consulting editor, she will play an active role in the show's revamp.

"We have some great changes come fall that will take the show to the next level," Gibbons hints. And she adds she's ready to take on ET, the show that put her mug on the map. "Well, certainly I'm not afraid of competition," she says. "And part of what we plan to do is make Extra as competitive as it possibly can be, whether that's with Entertainment Tonight or anything else that's out there."