Gibbons appointed to stem cell board


SACRAMENTO -- Former "Entertainment Tonight" host Leeza Gibbons has a new role, this one thanks to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

On Wednesday, the governor announced her appointment to a board that oversees California's stem cell agency.

Gibbons, whose mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, will fill the Alzheimer's advocate seat on the 29-member Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.

"Leeza's personal experience as a caregiver and advocate makes her uniquely qualified for this position," Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Gena Grebitus said in an e-mailed statement.

In 2002, Gibbons and her family founded the nonprofit Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation after her mother was diagnosed.

She spent a decade as a host on "Entertainment Tonight" and had a daytime talk show called "Leeza" from 1994 to 2000. Last year, she had a short-lived run on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Gibbons, 50, also hosts a syndicated radio program called Hollywood Confidential.

Her new role on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee won't pay as much as her previous stints. The compensation is $100 per diem.

The board oversees the work of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Institute, the nation's largest financial backer of human embryonic stem cell research.

The agency and board were created after California voters passed Proposition 71 in 2004, an initiative that authorized spending $3 billion over 10 years on stem cell research.