Seacrest in at E!

He hosts "American Idol" on television, and "American Top 40" and a Los Angeles weekday morning show on radio.

He recently aligned his production company with Dick Clark's firm as well as E! Entertainment Television.

He runs a fashion line and invests in restaurants.

And now, he's also the lead anchor and managing editor of the weeknight "E! News."

It's safe to say Ryan Seacrest isn't hurting for work.

Work pursues him, though, as evidenced by his new E! job that teams him with holdover Giuliana DePandi in presenting the day's showbiz headlines. He geared up for his mid-March debut by participating in several of the network's "Live From the Red Carpet" specials preceding such award ceremonies as the Oscars and the Grammys.

Although this is Seacrest's busiest time of year, with FOX's "American Idol" maintaining blockbuster ratings as viewers' votes narrow the field of contenders, he's clearly excited about his role at E!

Zap2it: How do you assess the impact of your arrival on "E! News"?

Ryan Seacrest: It is a complete remodeling, from the graphics package to the set. It's really being revamped in its entirety. The focus is more on young Hollywood, which I think will give us some separation of some of the other newsmagazines that are on at the same time ("Entertainment Tonight," CNN Headline News' "Showbiz Today," etc.). It needed to have a more specific direction, and I think that's the evolution you're seeing on the air right now.

Zap2it: If you're giving the slant to the younger Hollywood set, how do you cover news stories like the death of an older celebrity, such as Johnny Carson?

Seacrest: That's a major story, and you're going to cover it. If we're sitting in the room putting it together, I'm thinking, "What members of the young Hollywood community idolized that man, watched him growing up, have owned the DVD collection?" You don't avoid that story at all, but you look at it through the eyes of young people who looked up to him and wanted to pursue the same sort of career.

Zap2it: Through your other activities, haven't you had your finger on the pulse of young Hollywood for some time?

Seacrest: Hilary Duff, for example, was my first guest on KIIS-FM in the morning. She was also my co-host on a New Year's Eve special, so you can see the consistency. I think she represents that culture and, in my mind, somebody who has talent and success and works hard at it. Even if you look at the artists we play on KIIS-FM and "American Top 40," and the kinds of things we talk about, it's all consistent with the type of reporting we'll be doing on "E! News."

Zap2it: How has the "E! News" staff reacted to you coming in, especially since as managing editor, you're now pretty much the boss?

Seacrest: Giuliana has been extremely supportive. As a matter of fact, I think she's excited that now there's this great energy at the office. A lot of that is that they're investing in some changes. It's not just me; it's that the network is doing a lot of things they haven't done before.

I did say to the staff, "This is a learning process for all of us." I wasn't going to walk in and act like I knew how to do everything. I don't, and we're going to trust each other and collaborate. As you grow in this business, you realize that the more you do, the more input you want to have -- from the ground level all the way to the fruition of the broadcast.

Zap2it: How do you keep a balanced schedule with "E! News" added to your plate while "American Idol" is reaching its peak?

Seacrest: I think I've always maintained a busy schedule, but I've learned my lesson. There are certain things I'm capable of doing, and others I just can't. That's why I was very clear in putting together the E! deal that when I'm up doing the morning show and then going over to "American Idol," that needs to be my primary focus that day.

I'm still going to be very aware of what's going on with "E! News," but I won't be the "talent" that day; Giuliana will do it. I knew from the get-go that in order for this to work, we had to have some boundaries. That said, I'm keeping a radio studio in Burbank and I also have one at E! so I can do my morning show from there when I need to.

Equally important to me was the partnership that E! made with my company, so we're equity partners. This was a sum-of-all-parts deal, and I think there are a lot of different things we're going to accomplish ... "E! News" being a major priority.

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