Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Vital Voices Global Partnership(NEW YORK) — Former Miss America and one time CBS News reporter and Fox News commentator Gretchen Carlson has been named chairman of the board of The Miss American Organization.
Carlson’s appointment comes after leaked emails published last month by the Huffington Post showed then Miss America CEO Sam Haskell and others using derogatory and sexist language to refer to the pageant contestants.
In addition to Carlson, several other former pageant winners — Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, Miss America 2012; Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000; and Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998 — have joined the board of directors.
In making the announcement the Organization noted that most of the board’s previous directors have resigned. Haskell, former Chairman Lynn Weider and former President and COO Josh Randle resigned in late December in the wake of the scandal.
“Honored to move this iconic program forward with so many amazing volunteers,” Carlson tweeted on Monday.
In a statement released by the Organization, Carlson said, “Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program. In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”
After winning the pageant in 1989, Carlson went on to work for CBS News as a correspondent and co-host of The Early Show. She later became co-host of Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends. In 2016, after her contract with Fox expired, Carlson sued then Fox News Chairman and CEO, the late Roger Ailes, for sexual harassment. In September 2016, Carlson and Fox announced a settlement of the suit. At the time, a source familiar with the deal told ABC News that the settlement was valued at $20 million.
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