- Donald J. Trump has sold the Miss Universe Organization to the talent agency WME-IMG, the company announced on Monday.
- The sale, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, came after a rough summer for the organization’s Miss USA beauty pageant in which two television partners droppd the broadcast in response to comments Mr. Trump made about illegal immigrants during his presidential campaign.
- NBC, a part owner of the Miss Universe Organization, backed out of the broadcast and also said that Mr. Trump would not be welcomed back as the host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” (NBC announced Monday that Arnold Schwarzenegger would replace him). Mr. Trump field a $500 million lawsuit against the pageant’s other television partner, the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision.
- On Friday, NBC confirmed that it had sold its stake in the Miss Universe Organization to Mr. Trump. It appears that sale was just the prelude for Mr. Trump to spin off the entire organization — which includes the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants — to WME-IMG.
“When I purchased the pageants many years ago, they were in serious trouble,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “It has been a great honor making them so successful, and I have really enjoyed watching the pageants grow throughout the U.S.A. and worldwide.”
- One of the first tasks for WME-IMG will be to find a new TV partner for Miss USA. After NBC backed out of the broadcast, it was picked up by the cable channel Reelz, and had a significantly smaller viewership: 925,000 viewers compared with the 5.6 million people that watched it on NBC last year.
- The chief executive of Reelz, Stan E. Hubbard, said last month that the Miss USA broadcast was a one-time event for the cable channel and that the beauty pageant belonged “on a broadcast network.”