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Rediff.com  » News » Miss America pageant seeks new home

Miss America pageant seeks new home

Last updated on: August 27, 2005 13:44 IST
The 84-year-old Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which attracts the smartest and most beautiful women in America, is in "perilous financial straits" and wants to shift to another city.

The pageant has been held in Atlantic City, famous for its beaches and now its casinos, since its start in 1921 - originally as a bathing beauty revue. It then became a beauty contest. A further change came when the sponsors decided that it must attract both beauty and brains.

Last year it lost its broadcasting contract with ABC television. It is now seeking another sponsor, said Chief Executing Officer of the pageant Art McMaster.

McMaster, who took over the nonprofit group that runs Miss America in 2004, said the loss of millions of dollars in revenue after being dumped by ABC for low ratings last October had forced the organization to rethink about the venue. "I don't think survivability is out there if we stay in Atlantic City," he said.

Pageant organisers have asked the Atlantic City authorities to release the Miss America Organisation from its contract to hold the event in Boardwalk Hall, a depression-era landmark that has hosted the event since 1940.

McMaster said Miss America can have its production expenses covered and also receive one million dollars or more by shifting to other cities.

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