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Trump, NBC Sign Pageant Deals

  • Reuters, Friday, March 30, 2007 10:15 AM
TV personality and real-estate developer Donald Trump will be in the beauty-contest business for at least three more years under a renewed contract with NBC for broadcasts of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. However, a third pageant he co-owns -- Miss Teen USA -- will be dumped after this summer. Friday's broadcast of the last Miss USA contest ended a year where scandal seemed to revive some interest in pageants.

The outgoing title holder -- Tara Conner -- nearly lost her crown in January for an underage booze binge, while another contestant was canned after racy photos of her surfaced on the Internet. A third was bounced after getting pregnant. Trump's treatment of Conner led to a public spat between Trump and Rosie O'Donnell featuring insults like "pimp" and "fat slob" -- and providing more entertainment than the pageants ever did.

Still, ratings for such spectacles have nosedived in the last few years, with ABC bidding the Miss America telecast adieu in 2005. Speaking of sagging ratings, the future of Trump's reality show "The Apprentice," remains uncertain, and the network has not decided whether to renew the series.



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