Gretchen Carlson resigns as Miss America board chair

Gretchen Carlson, a journalist and 1989 Miss America, resigned as board chair of the Miss America Organization on Wednesday.

Carlson took the job a little more than a year ago, leading an all-women group after an email scandal revealed male leadership within the organization had made denigrating and sexual remarks about the pageant's competitors.

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Gretchen Carlson became chairwoman of the Miss America Organization after an email scandal led to the resignations of previous pageant officials. (Associated Press)

Gretchen Carlson became chairwoman of the Miss America Organization after an email scandal led to the resignations of previous pageant officials. (Associated Press)

In a statement, Carlson said it was time to give new leadership an opportunity to grow the organization.

"When I was asked to take this volunteer position over a year ago, I dedicated myself to helping the organization build on its history while working to secure its future, and am extremely proud of the work we have collectively done,” she added.

Carlson pressed to make the competition more relevant by having contestants talk about their goals and community service plans in place of the decades' old swimsuit competition.

Shantel Krebs, South Dakota’s former secretary of state, will fill the role.

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Carlson, a former Fox News host, left the network in 2016, the same year she filed a sexual harassment suit against late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.