Credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/

From the moment Mary Hart announced she would be leaving Entertainment Tonight after 29 years with the show, CBS execs began scouting potential replacements for the 59-year-old host.

Though some reports claimed The Insider's Lara Spencer would become the show's new anchor, an insider tells that Maria Menounos is also in contention for the position.

"Maria has had exclusive interviews with President Obama and the first family before any other journalist," the source tells Us. "She's also has interviewed the likes of Oprah, Jennifer Lopez and Lindsay Lohan, which were quite provocative and intense interviews."

The insider adds that Menounos -- who was an ET correspondent for three years beginning in 2002 -- is "currently the NBC star with Access Hollywood, Nightly News and the Today show."

"This may turn into quite the bidding war," the source says of Menounos, 32, and Spencer, 41. "All the entertainment shows are always competing for ratings and new host!"