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Miss America pageant moves to CMT country music network

UPI News Service, 06/28/2005 

After eight months of being media-homeless, the Miss America pageant will now be broadcast on the cable country music network, CMT.

A two-year deal was struck between the pageant and network to begin next January with renewal options through 2011, USA Today reported Tuesday.

Last year, ABC announced it no longer wanted to carry the September pageant as viewer numbers had plummeted to 9.8 million, down from 33.1 million in 1988.

The crowning will move to January for the first time in its 50-year broadcasting history, just one aspect of the deal that doesn't sit well with everyone.

"I feel like they're going to alienate a whole segment of their viewership because not everybody knows CMT or would even watch CMT," said Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson Baker. "It sounds so ridiculous -- we go from ABC to CMT, and there's nothing in between?"

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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