LAS VEGAS --One year after she left home in search of better fortunes, Miss America has gone totally Hollywood. She's got her own reality TV show, a catchy new ringtone and she's giving away cash to lucky viewers. She's competing in a "pageant" again, rather than the politically correct and, some say, boring "scholarship program" of the past.
After years of struggling for relevance and viewers, the Miss America Pageant and its cable network host are attempting to market the beauty contest back into the American cultural conscience.
"There was a time when everyone knew Miss America's name, but the brand has slipped a little," said Sam Haskell, a former executive at the William Morris Agency and now chairman of the board of directors of the Atlantic City, N.J.-based Miss America Organization.
"We thought it was time to repolish the brand."
There are few who would argue the aging beauty queen doesn't need the help. After years as a Saturday-night television event, the pageant hemorrhaged viewers in the 1990s, eventually losing its network contract in 2004. Country Music Television picked her up and moved her to Las Vegas last year, hoping the hype would draw new viewers.
The move, though considered by some as a blow to Atlantic City and the die-hard volunteers -- pageanistas -- who drive the operation, generally was viewed as a success.
More at the Source
Podcast Pickle Page
One Click Subscribe in Juice
One Click Subscribe in iTunes