Story By: G. H. HARDING
Maria Menounos

Adios Maria --- Maria Menounos is leaving her post as Extra co-host after two years.

"Maria was 100 percent not fired," an inside source told us. "The truth is, she decided months ago on her own to explore other options, as she knew her contract was coming up for renewal. She made this decision on her own."

Among her other options, the television personality recently debuted her new Oxygen realty series, Chasing Maria Menounos, which focuses on her life living with both her longtime boyfriend, Keven Undergaro, and her Greek parents.

Contrary to rumors the 35-year-old was clashing with Extra co-host Mario Lopez, Menounos is said to be making the move on her own accord.

"There is no bad energy," the source continued. "Maria has so much going on with her reality show, and she's happy that she has so many options to explore right now."

Menounos runs her own production company with Undergaro called Underman/Omegagirl. She also recently produced the film comedy film Serial Buddies. She was also a contestant on the 14th season of Dancing with the Stars partnering with Derek Hough. The couple was eliminated, ending up in 4th place.

Menounos is a more than affable personality, however her enthusiasm (not to mention a rather haranguing laugh) wears thin, quite quickly. Her rise in the TV-entertainment/news format reminds me of Nancy O’Dell, who rose to national success with another magazine-type show Access Hollywood, then suddenly jumped ship one day to its chief rival Entertainment Tonight, besting no less than Mary Hart who was the first host of the show (cue John Tesh-music). In fact, ET was the first show of this kind.

These shows do serve a purpose, but their day in the sun may have come.

Adam Lambert

QUEEN LAMBERT --- Initial response to Queen and Adam Lambert's upcoming North American tour has been so strong, the band has added five additional dates.

Three new cities — Boston; East Rutherford, N.J.; and Atlantic City — will get shows on the group's first North American tour in eight years. Second dates have been added for Uncasville, Conn., and Toronto. The tour will now end July 28 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

Tickets for the newly added dates will go on sale this Saturday at 9 a.m. local time via Live Nation.

Queen announced the tour with the former American Idol runner-up as front man on March 6. The 24-date tour will begin June 19 at Chicago's United Center.

ALLMAN BROTHERS BROKEN --- The Allman Brothers continue to make news and it’s not about their music.

They've been forced to postpone the last four dates of their annual Beacon Theater run while singer Gregg Allman recovers from bronchitis.

Already, the 66-year-old star had to sit out two Beacon shows on Friday and Saturday due to the illness. Susan Tedeschi, wife of guitarist Derek Trucks, stood in for Allman during some numbers.

All this comes on top of the announcement early this year that the band will lose both its lead guitarists — Trucks and Warren Haynes — at the end of 2014. Allman has told various outlets that the band will stop touring altogether at the end of the year, the band’s 45th in action.

If true, it will make this Beacon run of 14 dates the final installment of a residency at the venue the band has maintained most every March for the last 22 years.

The postponed shows in this run were meant to take place March 25, 26, 28 and 29.

Allman, who has been in good voice and health of late, has had health issues in the past, leading to a liver transplant in 2010.

All this on top of the horrendous accident that took place several weeks back during the filming of Allman’s Midnight Rider movie (a stunt woman was hit and killed by a train); based on his biography My Cross To Bear. William Hurt stars as Allman. If this movie gets made, it should be rather dazzling.

Gwyneth Paltrow

CLOSING NOTES --- It was announced last night, after 10 years, that Coldplay’s Chris Martin was separating from his wife Gwyneth Paltrow. Say what you will, but this relationship was mired in controversy since day one. From what I've seen, it’s near impossible to live under the microscope, but we certainly wish them both well. They together released a statement calling the separation a Conscious Uncoupling. Two kids, ten years … they certainly tried …

Nilsson's "Everyone's Talking" is spot-on as the theme for the new Lipton tea commercials. Surrounded by The Muppets ... it's a 60's-vision come true in the worlds of Manhattan. Watch for it ...

I had occasion to sit with the legendary-photographer Henry Diltz at the Monkees-fest. What an insightful personality who's been rooted in musical history for decades. He showed me a photograph of himself with Stephen Stills and Micky Dolenz from the 60's. Amazing .... thanks Henry ...

We love Shakira … always have. We are particularly enjoying her Target commercials too. We remember when we first heard of her years back, when PR-maven Ronni Kairey was repping her. She’s re-energized The Voice to even great heights …

The trailers for the new Johnny Depp movie Transcendence looks great. We'll see a preview in a week and let you know …