The Real Reason You Don't Hear From Bill Rancic Anymore

Bill Rancic is the first winner of The Apprentice and husband of former E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic. Together, they became bonafide reality stars when they decided to document their lives for their long-running series, Giuliana & Bill. That show concluded, and Giuliana has dramatically reduced her roll at E!, leaving Bill and his tagalong fame a fading reality TV memory. 

However, that doesn't mean he's loafing around and waiting for Dancing with the Stars to call. In fact, Rancic has kept himself extremely busy lately, just not in front of network TV cameras. Here's what the entrepreneur, author, and real estate developer has been up to and the real reason you don't hear from him anymore.

He and Giuliana walked away from their hit reality show

After seven highly-rated seasons of Giuliana & Bill – a reality show that documented everything from their infertility struggles to Giuliana's battle with breast cancer — the couple decided it was time to end the series in 2014. Speaking with HuffPost about the decision, Giuliana revealed that it had a lot to do with maintaining some semblance of privacy for their then 2-year-old son, Duke.

"I don't know if I would have wanted to show cameras at his preschool or him going through certain milestones," Giuliana said. "Some things have to be private. And Bill and I are very open. We share a lot, but it's our son. And so, until he has a say, we want to just protect him." Giuliana did leave the door open for a potential return to the genre, teasing that they were "playing around with some ideas," but as of this writing, nothing has materialized.

Giuliana's relationship with E! soured

After putting their reality show on an indefinite hiatus, Giuliana took another step away from showbiz a year later when she announced she was leaving E! News after 11 years as a host. The surprising exit was accompanied by a whiff of scandal. It was reported that Giuliana was leaving the show in a huff, having supposedly feuded with Maria Menounos, who eventually succeeded her in the role. Giuliana denied any feud, calling the accusations "absurd."

At the time, Giuliana had also been under intense public scrutiny over comments she made about singer/actress Zendaya's hair on Fashion Police, which led to a feud with comedian Kathy Griffin, who briefly occupied the role formerly held by the late Joan Rivers. So, what does all this have to do with Bill?

Well, for starters, his fame has almost always been linked to Giuliana's. In addition, he apparently stopped trying to hide the fact that he'd had his fill with all things E!, telling the New York Daily News that he felt Giuliana had been thrown under the bus. When a reporter suggested it was "a breath of fresh air" for his wife to move on, Bill replied, "From your mouth to God's ear!" That sounds like a guy who's ready for a break from the entertainment industry.

The family ditched Los Angeles for the Windy City

Bill Rancic's dream to return full-time to his hometown of Chicago came true in 2015. Though Giuliana told People the move was motivated primarily by Duke's school schedule, she also claimed that her career would accommodate her Midwestern locale. "I won't be in LA on set as much, but there's a lot of work in New York and Chicago too," she said. "I don't have to pick one or the other." Justifications aside, it's easy to see that escaping the tabloid press was also an obvious, if not intended bonus. The fact that we don't hear form Bill much these days, is proof that they've found that privacy they were looking for.

Bill told Traditional Home that being able to have "an active, down-to-earth life" is one of the intangible features of their Chicago home. "We've always had one foot here, and now we have two," he said. "Finally, we're home."  

He's chasing his childhood restaurateur dreams

Bill and Giuliana Rancic opened their first restaurant in Chicago in 2012. RPM Italian was a labor of love for the couple, particularly Giuliana, who was born in Naples, Italy. "RPM Italian is a culmination of 'firsts' for Bill and me," Giuliana told Us Weekly. "From the concept to the design elements, working on the menu with our team, understanding the ins and outs of good service, you name it. We constantly strive to make the guest experience better, and I'm always thinking that way about the restaurant, even when I'm not there."  

They must have gotten the hang of it quickly, because they opened RPM Steak in Chicago two years later, then another RPM Italian in Washington, D.C. by 2015. During a September 2017 speaking engagement, Bill revealed that his entrepreneurial spirit began as a child, when he turned his grandmother's kitchen into "a makeshift restaurant," earning him $5 per plate from his "customers," who were basically just his grandmother's friends. 

He's since come full circle, and though he has many other business ventures, he expressed that he is "particularly focused on expansion of the RPM Restaurants chain."

But there have been a few hiccups

According to Radar Online, the Rancics' restaurant expansion hasn't gone smoothly. In August 2016, they initially failed to obtain a license to operate from the Washington D.C. Health Regulation and Licensing Administration after an inspector found multiple violations, including inadequate faucets required for employee hand washing, an out of order garbage disposal, and some code-related plumbing issues. Truth be told, these are all pretty standard roadblocks for any initial restaurant startup.

But Bill and Giuliana made similar mistakes in March 2017 when they opened their second D.C. spot, an "undercover cafe" not officially listed yet as an RPM property. Again, health inspectors found issues with hand washing sinks, as well as an issue with "employee personal belongings (beverages) in contact with foods along the chef's line refrigeration unit," and the failure thus far to secure a trash hauler, which resulted in "large volume of waste foods in trash bags" waiting for removal. 

You'd think by the time you're running your fourth restaurant, you'd know that paying the trash bill is going to be an integral part of the eatery's success.  

His social life doesn't make for good ratings anymore

Bill is an unabashed native son of Chicago who almost never misses an opportunity to talk up his hometown. In fact, he even deftly used the wiles of the Windy City to woo Giuliana when they first started dating. "You took me to a Cubs game, then driving around the city on the motorcycle, to going to all the hot restaurants and bars. We just had the greatest time, and I fell in love with the city," Giuliana told her husband during an interview for Michigan Avenue.

That sounds like it could be a fun reality show, right? Granted, they're both a bit older now, and have a young son to boot, so maybe they wouldn't be up for such a romp anymore. Actually, they're definitely not up for it, at least, according to an interview with LA Travel Magazine. Giuliana said her somewhat grandmotherly preference for how she spends her downtime these days is to "walk up and down Michigan Avenue in Chicago," because she "loves the energy of the city."

As for Bill, it's a bit more physical, but no more exciting. "Whenever I have time off, I too love to be in the city and nothing beats a five mile run on the lakefront," he said. Sounds like a thrill-a-minute show if you ask us — Shopping and Jogging with Bill & Giuliana. Check your local listings!

He drank a lot of wine...for a good reason

In 2014, Giuliana debuted her single-serving, stackable wine brand, XO, G which she named after her signature signoff that she uses on social media. According to the brand's kick-off press release, XO, G was created "to be an extension of her persona, with a stylish design that looks like a personal gift from [Giuliana] to her fans, and imported wines from her favorite global appellations."

Seems like this is 100 percent Giuliana's baby, right? So, what's that got to do with Mr. Rancic? "Bill and I would put Duke to bed and just do taste tests," Giuliana told People, describing the selection process for her business. "It was a fun few months and I'm really proud with what we chose." A few hangovers aside, it sounds like he got the best part of that gig.

A romance novel? Yep, he wrote one.

As if being an entrepreneur, real estate developer, restaurateur, reality TV star, and motivational speaker weren't enough, Bill Rancic is also a New York Times best-selling author, who, of course, doesn't just pen business or leadership manuals, but novels as well.  

In 2016, Bill published First Light, a romance novel about an engaged couple who is expecting its first child when the lovers get stranded in the remote Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash. Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, Bill said creative writing had been a passion of his since high school. Taking the time to "get it right" was important to Bill. "I think I felt more pressure because I knew going in that people didn't expect this from me and I was well-aware that some may be more critical in their critique," he said. "So, yes, it was more difficult because this type of writing did not come as naturally for me."

He makes bank as a motivational speaker

Part of Bill Rancic's vast professional portfolio is motivational speaking. His first two books, Beyond the Lemonade Stand and You're Hired, were both instructional guides for how to make it in leadership and business, and since becoming a public figure via his Apprentice win and marriage to Giuliana, he's parlayed both into a nice little gig as an orator that pays him up to $30,000 a pop.

While speaking at the Schaumburg Business Association breakfast, he identified for the entrepreneurial hopefuls his "three characteristics of success." They are: Knowing it's more important to show than to tell; understanding the importance of agility; and both respecting and managing risk. Hmm, that's weird. He left out "start getting paid $30K to talk to people for an hour while they eat eggs." Maybe that's characteristic No. 4.

You can still find him on TV...in your hotel room

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Rancic signed a development deal with the luxury hotel brand Marriott to "co-create programming and content in the small-business, travel and food and beverage arenas exclusively for the multimedia platform." That's fancy industry jargon for he's now hosting a travel show that appears on "Marriott.com, in-room and partner channels."

It's a great gig, considering Bill gets paid by the brand to travel to places like London and Peru, but so far it hasn't lent itself to anyone outside the captive audience of folks who can't figure out how to work the TV remote in their hotel room. 

Bill's Marriott adventures also exist as clips with the title "Open Invitation with Bill Rancic" on the hotel chain's YouTube channel, but they aren't garnering much interest either. To date, not a single one has cracked 1,000 views, so he's got a long way to go to become the next king of travel television.