Gretchen Carlson named chair of Miss America organization

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Former Fox News Channel anchor and 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson was named chairwoman of the Miss America Organization’s board of directors Monday, and three other past pageant winners will join her on the board.

The new leadership comes less than two weeks after leaked emails surfaced showing CEO Sam Haskell and others disparaging the appearance, intellect and sex lives of former Miss Americas. Haskell resigned Dec. 23, along with two other top leaders.

The selection of Carlson marks the first time a former pageant winner has served as the leader of the nearly 100-year-old organization. The organization also announced the appointments of three other past Miss Americas: 2012 winner Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, 2000 winner Heather French Henry and Kate Shindle, who won in 1998 and now serves as president of the Actors’ Equity Association. Their appointments take effect immediately, as does Carlson’s.

Related: Former Miss America Mallory Hagan hopes scandal ‘signals the reinvention’ of pageant

“Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program,” Carlson said in a statement issued by the Miss America Organization. “In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”

Carlson said she and the new board would immediately work with all Miss America stakeholders, including the organization’s state executive directors and former state titleholders, “to continue an ongoing inclusive and transparent process to identify additional new board members and management.”

The new board also looks forward to working with the organization’s many sponsors, “seeking input while creating a viable, forward-looking Miss America Organization for this and future generations of young women,” Carlson said.

In the emails published last month by the Huffington Post, pageant officials ridiculed the appearance, intellect and sex lives of former Miss Americas. One email used a vulgar term for female genitalia to refer to past Miss America winners, another included a wish that a particular former Miss America had died and others speculated about the number of sex partners former Miss America Mallory Hagan has had.

Related Content: 3 Miss America officials resign, 1 apologizes to ex-winner

The ensuing uproar led to the resignations of Haskell; the group’s president, Josh Randle; board chairwoman Lynn Weidner, and another board member.

The emails already cost the pageant its television production partner and raised questions about the future of the nationally televised broadcast from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall the week after Labor Day each year.

Dick Clark Productions cut ties with the Miss America Organization over the emails, calling them “appalling.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s