MARIA BOUNCES BACK: NEW JOB & NEW MAN

Published on: June 1, 2012
Photography by: Johns PkI / Splash News
MARIA SHRIVER

Since ditching cheating hubby ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, MARIA SHRIVER has bounced back big-time — she's snagged a new guy and she's angling for BARBARA WALTERS' job!

The 56-year-old mother of four was recently spotted shopping with a mystery man at a kitschy antique store in Topanga Canyon, Calif., and sources say the two seemed to be more than just friends.

"Maria and her male companion appeared to be very touchy-feely as they shopped at Hidden Treasures," a source said.

"He was making her laugh, and she seemed at ease in his company. At one point Maria even rested her arm on his shoulder as they spoke to a sales assistant. Neither of them was wearing a wedding ring, and they certainly looked like a couple."

Maria — who resigned from her job as an NBC news anchor when she became California's First Lady in 2003 — separated from "Terminator" star Arnold when it was revealed that the former governor had a 14-year-old son with the family maid. She filed for divorce in July 2011.

While Maria's reps deny she is talking to ABC, sources say she's ready to jump back into TV journalism and would like to take over Barbara Walters' annual "10 Most Fascinating People" special and also revive Barbara's famous Academy Awards interview show.

Now 82, Barbara told President BARACK OBAMA in 2011 that she needed one more interview with him before she retired "next year." She's cut back her TV duties drastically, taping her last Oscar interviews in 2010 and appearing on her daytime talk show "The View" on average three days a week.

"Maria wants to be back on TV and she found the perfect opening when she heard that Barbara was retiring," an insider told The ENQUIRER.

"She's not looking to host a hard-hitting news show and she certainly didn't want to join her friend OPRAH WINFREY's sinking ship at her OWN network. Maria has always looked up to Barbara, and that's why she reached out to her pals at ABC.

"The executives are all for bringing Maria over, but they may have to wait a bit. Barbara told them, ‘No one is replacing me on ANYTHiNG until Ii officially retire!'"