After Scandal, Miss America Back for 2019 – CRDA Approves $4.3M
After a damaging scandal threatened to put an end to the 97-year-old Atlantic City tradition, Miss America will be back in town for at least one more year, as the CRDA approved $4.3 million in funding on Tuesday, according to Philly.com. After initial concerns in the wake of the Miss America organization's e-mail scandal late last year, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority decided to give approval to the final year of the pageant's 3-year deal with Atlantic City, signed in 2016.
Former pageant CEO Sam Haskell's email correspondence with staffers, leaked to Huffington Post in December, referred to former Miss Americas with derogatory slang and contained negative comments about the physical appearance of a former Miss America.
CRDA officials repeatedly called for a review of its contract with the pageant after news of the scandal and there has been extensive criticism about the cost of staging Miss America and if that money was being well spent. Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam, who has been a vocal critic of the Miss America since taking office, voted in favor of the 2019 renewal.
The CRDA's funding approval is one big hurdle cleared for the newly reorganized board of Miss America, with former pageant winner Gretchen Carlson as president.
The board must still name a production company to replace Dick Clark Productions, which cut ties with the pageant in 2017, and find a new TV deal going forward, as 2019 is the final year of its contract with ABC, also set to expire after September's Miss America.