Miss Universe Organization
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 | 9:54 a.m.
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Expect an official announcement this week that the 2012 Miss USA Pageant will air as always planned on NBC from Planet Hollywood on June 3. Additionally, NBC will announce this year’s pageant hosts within the next 48 hours.
Confusion about the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants being dropped by NBC began with a false report from an obscure website. “Totally fake -- absolutely untrue,” blasted Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart. “It’s very difficult being in business negotiations with many people -- including those in Las Vegas -- that totally incorrect reports of network problems went global.”
The false story, however, developed even further as it was reported elsewhere and then by pageant fans on Twitter. It prompted a flurry of calls around the world as Planet Hollywood officials had to be calmed by executives for Donald Trump, who owns both pageants in partnership with NBC.
The fake viral news spread further with nasty messages blaming Miss Universe winners for the so-called New York TV programming decision.
Paula emailed me Sunday from South Africa when the story broke, saying “absolutely ridiculous” and promising on her return to New York headquarters to elaborate. “For the record, it’s absolutely untrue -- absolutely false,” she told me this morning. “A simple call to check the facts would have gotten the truth -- hopefully this will now end it. It ran without anybody calling us. ”
I’ve learned that the NBC story is completely off target. In fact, NBC is working on expanding its Miss USA and Miss Universe programming coverage.
I was reliably told: “It’s not the first time this one-room website has posted inaccurate stories. They even make up fake press releases. They are fanatical pageant fans tracking beauty news all over the world, but it’s wild, sensational and untrue. Andy Cohen from Bravo hosted last year, so they just made up a story that Miss USA was dropped by NBC and picked up by its Bravo cable network. In fact, NBC wants to have Miss USA programming everywhere it can.”
This is now the second time this year that erroneous reports about the Miss USA Pageant on the Strip have circulated. The first report was that Las Vegas had lost the pageant over location promotional funding and that it was moving to Florida after a bidding battle from Mississippi. When Paula was here Jan. 29 for the Miss Nevada USA Pageant won by Jade Kelsall at the Pearl in the Palms, Vegas DeLuxe reported that Miss USA would remain in Las Vegas this year.
Long-terms deals are in place for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants to remain on NBC, with Miss USA also expected to remain in Las Vegas. 2011 Miss USA Alyssa Campanella of California will be here to crown her successor June 3.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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