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Trump Agrees to Sell Miss Universe to WME-IMG

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has agreed to sell the Miss Universe Organization to talent agency WME-IMG.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The organization had been a joint venture between Trump and Comcast’s NBCUniversal for 13 years, but Trump agreed to acquire the 50% he didn’t own from NBCU and settle all legal squabbles last week. Trump and NBCU had been at odds because NBC decided not to air the Miss USA pageant after Trump, during his campaign, made remarks about immigrants insulting to Mexican Americans.

The Miss Universe Organization produces the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants.

Spanish language broadcaster Univision also decided not to air the Miss USA pageant and cease doing business with Miss Universe because of Trump’s remarks. Trump responded by suing Univision for $500 million.

“Having worked closely with The Miss Universe Organization in the past, we understand the incredible potential of the events and the star-quality of the participants,” said Mark Shapiro, chief content officer, WME-IMG. “The global reach of The Miss Universe Organization and the content opportunities presented by the pageants make this a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio.”

IMG has served as executive producers of both Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants in the past.

“I have truly enjoyed owning the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, pageants,” said Trump. “When I purchased the pageants many years ago, they were in serious trouble. It has been a great honor making them so successful and I have really enjoyed watching the pageants grow throughout the USA and worldwide. The pageants are now in the hands of a great company that will shepherd them to even greater levels of success.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.