Bosses of beauty contest Miss America are scrambling to find it a new home, after a TV network dropped it.

ABC, which had carried the annual telecast since 1997 with a series of one-year contracts, notified MISS AMERICA ORGANIZATION officials that they will not pick up the option this year (04).

The organisation's acting president and chief executive officer ARTHUR McMASTER says, "This is a good day for the Miss America Organization. We are now free to pursue other parties who have expressed interest in our organisation, and we are excited at the limitless opportunities that are now available for us to grow our brand."

The move comes on the heels of a 18 September (04) pageant that drew a record-low 9.8 million viewers. It leaves the pageant without a home for the first time in 50 years.

ABC, which took over Miss America after 30-year sponsor NBC lost interest in 1996, has had rocky relations with Miss America officials in recent years, in part because of the low television ratings.

20/10/2004 21:14