Pageant OLD News! 3 years ago was a burning question!

Miss America has been in trouble for years! Two times a certain man has wanted to help. I found this in my email archives from a friend back in March 2005. In fact the time/date stamp by AP at the bottom is: 03/11/05
17:22 EST


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.
(AP) – He's a reality TV star, a billionaire and he knows a thing or two about
beautiful women – between the ones he's married and the beauty pageants he
already owns.

Who
better to rescue a damsel in distress than Donald Trump?

Trump
has approached the Miss America Organization about buying the famous pageant,
which is fighting for survival after being dumped by ABC because of declining
ratings.

“I've
talked to them, but I have not made an offer,'' said Trump, an owner of the Miss
Universe
and Miss USA
pageants. “It's tough: The networks don't want to put it on, and I'd like to
do whatever I can to help them out.''

If
he bought Miss America , he
would keep it in Atlantic City
but make it more watchable, Trump said. When asked how, he wouldn't say, except
to say he would maintain the “integrity'' of the contest.

Pageant
officials, meanwhile, were playing it close to the sash Friday.

“We
are flattered that Donald Trump called on the Miss America Organization, the
longest-running pageant in history,'' said CEO Art McMaster. “We are currently
exploring all of our opportunities.''

McMaster,
who issued a written statement in response to inquiries from The Associated
Press
, would not elaborate. He declined repeated requests for an interview
Friday through pageant spokeswoman P.J. Santos.

Trump
controls 50 percent of the Miss Universe partnership, which owns the Miss
Universe
and Miss USA
pageants. He owns 25 percent personally and 25 percent through his Trump Hotels
& Casino Resorts company.

The
Trump Hotels share is soon to be transferred to Trump himself, as part of the
reorganization of Trump Hotels, which filed for bankruptcy in November.

That
doesn't mean The Donald's broke; Forbes magazine puts his net worth at $2.6
billion.

What
he may want from down-on-its-luck Miss
America
is anyone's guess.

“This
is what you call the vertical integration of the beauty pageant business,''
said Larry Gerbrandt, a media analyst. “I don't know what it does to Miss
Universe
, but you could see a natural merger of Miss USA and Miss America, so
that you go on from Miss USA-America to Miss Universe.''

Miss
America
, by any measure, is floundering.

Despite
a succession of new gimmicks aimed at luring viewers back in recent years, its
basic formula – 52 women competing in talent, swimsuit and evening wear, with a
tearful crowning at the end – has gone unchanged.

Last
year, it was watched by 9.8 million people – a record low.

The
loss of its TV contract means more than the loss of network exposure.

It
also means less money: In 2003, ABC paid $5.6 million for the rights to
televise Miss America ;
the Miss America Organization's total revenues for the year amounted to $6.9
million.

Now,
the staid old beauty contest is pitching other networks in hopes of finding a
place on the dial.

McMaster
believes the key to reviving interest in the 84-year-old pageant is televising
it as a reality-style serial that allows viewers to get to know the
contestants.

How
far Miss America
goes in embracing the often meanspirited nature of reality TV is another
matter, though.

“You
can't turn a Miss America pageant into a reality show,'' said Marc Berman,
senior television writer for Mediaweek, a trade publication. “There's just so
much you can do with it, and while it can stand some changes, he'd be smart to
know you can't turn it around overnight.''   

03/11/05
17:22 EST

   
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. The
information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The
Associated Press
.  All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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