Miss America pageant takes rating nosedive

Miss America pageant takes rating nosedive
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This year's revamped Miss America pageant plunged 36 percent from 2017's record-low showing, sending ABC to a fourth-place finish on Sunday night with just 4.3 million viewers tuning in.

The pageant was the first to be held under the new chairwoman, former Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson, as well as the first not to feature a swimsuit competition.

Carlson, who won the competition in 1989 and went on to be co-host of Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends," had been the center of controversy heading into the event along with the reigning Miss America, Cara Mund. 

Mund, 24, accused pageant leaders of controlling, bullying and manipulating her last month. She said Carlson and other pageant leaders had “systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America.”  

Carlson said she was “surprised and saddened beyond words” at the allegations and responded in a public letter that she "never bullied or silenced [Mund]." 

"Sunday Night Football" on NBC finished first on Sunday night, attracting 19.4 million viewers for its tilt between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.

The 2017 and 2016 pageants, which were shown on basic cable, drew 5.6 million and 6.2 million viewers, respectively.

Miss New York, Nia Franklin, won this year's competition, which was broadcast live from Atlantic City, N.J.