The Real Deal New York

Original Apprentice leaves Trump

By Tom Acitelli | November 27, 2007 03:53PM

The original Apprentice is moving on from Donald Trump. But don’t fear: He may very well stay in real estate.

In 2004, Bill Rancic won the first season of NBC’s “The Apprentice” to become Trump’s prot g . He was put in charge of the development of the 90-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, and was heaped with media attention and general approbation for having the business acumen to beat out other twenty- and thirty-somethings in the fierce world of carefully staged television.

Rancic announced in September, however, that he will leave the Trump organization and the show when his contract runs out in March, according to media reports. He is scheduled to make appearances during the next “Apprentice” season, imparting his accumulated wisdom to other contestants, but otherwise seems to be running out the clock as he waits to move onto something else.

Rancic told an audience in Malaysia last month that he wants to strike out on his own: “I’m going to go out and start another business of my own,” UPI quoted Rancic as saying. “That’s in my blood.”

Rancic, now a few years into his 30s, first made a name for himself in business through premium cigar distributor He also founded Rancic Properties, which markets luxury condos and rentals in Chicago. This experience may be why he left open the possibility of returning to real estate.

“In the years to come,” he said, “I hope there will be Bill Rancic Towers right alongside Trump Towers.”

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