Gretchen Carlson steps down as Miss America chairwoman

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who helped eliminate the pageant's swimsuit competition, is stepping down as board chairwoman of the Miss America Organization.

She was part of an all-female leadership team that took over the pageant following an email scandal in which male leaders insulted former Miss Americas, denigrating their appearance, intelligence and even their sex lives.

Carlson pushed for the elimination of the swimsuit competition from the pageant, which originated in Atlantic City nearly 100 years ago. In its place last year, contestants spoke about themselves, their goals and how they planned to serve the community.

Some welcomed the change as making the pageant more relevant, but many state organizations rebelled against the new leadership team over how it ran the organization.

31 PHOTOS
Gretchen Carlson through the years
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Gretchen Carlson through the years

Gretchen Carlson

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Miss America At Spireclub -- Miss America Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson plays Billiars In one of the rooms in the new club which offer many activities. With her showing how to shoot, is James. Stewart, Marketing agent for Pire club. September 15, 1988.

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/New York Post Archives/(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)

Debbye Turner, Miss America 1990, Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004, and Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989

(Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Gretchen Carlson attends private screening: 'Memoirs of a Geisha' at Sony Screening Room on November 22, 2005 in New York City.

(Photo by Scott Rudd/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

John Voight, left, visits with anchors of 'Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson.

(Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

John Edward, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade visit 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX Studios on October 5, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Miss America 1989 and Fox News Channel co-host Gretchen Carlson is introduced at the 2010 Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 30, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Planet Hollywood)

Demi Lovato, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Clayton Morris visit 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX studios on August 18, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Ali Landry (C) poses for a photo with 'FOX & Friends' Co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy outside the FOX studios on September 9, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Elmo and host Gretchen Carlson visits 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX Studios on November 18, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

'Fox & Friends' co-anchor Gretchen Carlson and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan attend 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on January 17, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Miss America 1989 and Fox News Channel co-host Gretchen Carlson introduces pageant judges during the 2011 Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 15, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Cookbook authors brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen visit FOX & Friends and talk to host Gretchen Carlson, at FOX & Friends at FOX Studios on April 20, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Host Steve Doocy, vocalist Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down and host Gretchen Carlson pose for photos during a taping of 'FOX and Friends' outside of FOX Studios on July 29, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/WireImage)

'FOX & Friends' hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade greet the crowd during a taping of 'FOX & Friends' at FOX Studios on July 15, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Cookbook authors brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen visit FOX & Friends and talk to host Gretchen Carlson, at FOX & Friends at FOX Studios on April 20, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Host Gretchen Carlson and Craig Morgan speak during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series at FOX Studios on July 13, 2012 in New York City.

(Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)

Gretchen Carlson is the guest co-hoston 'The View.'

(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) 

Professional tennis double players and 2012 olympic gold medalists, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan chat and play table tennis with 'FOX & Friends' hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade live on 'FOX & Friends' at FOX Studios on August 23, 2012 in New York City.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series outside of FOX Studios on July 19, 2013 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, John Lynch and The cast of 'Duck Dynasty' Si Robertson, Jep Robertson and Willie Robertson visit 'Fox And Friends' at Fox News Studios on September 9, 2013 in New York City.

(Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson speaks onstage during a 'Fireside Chat on Persecuted' panel at Variety's Purpose: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit in association with Rogers And Cowan at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on June 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

Journalist Gretchen Carlson attends 'Persecuted' screening at Lighthouse International Theater on July 18, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson speaks onstage during a 'Fireside Chat on Persecuted' at Variety's Purpose: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit in association with Rogers And Cowan at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on June 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

THE VIEW

Mindy Kaling and Gretchen Carlson were the guests, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' '

(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)

Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson attends the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for dcp)

Gretchen Carlson, Debra Shriver and Danielle Weisberg attend Hearst Chief Content Officer Joanna Coles Hosts the Hearst 100 Luncheon at Michael's on December 12, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Gretchen Carlson arrives for the Hearst 100 Luncheon at Michael's on December 12, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Gretchen Carlson attends Women at the Top: Female Empowerment in Media Panel at the 2016 Greenwich International Film Festival on June 12, 2016 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for GIFF)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) TV commentator/author Gretchen Carlson visits Insight at SiriusXM Studios on April 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: (L-R) Editor-in-Chief of New York Magazine Adam Moss, Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping Jane Francisco, News anchor Gretchen Carlson, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief of the Meredith Parents Network Liz Vaccariello, and Editor-in-Chief of People Magazine Jess Cagle attend the American Magazine Media Conference 2017 on February 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for American Magazine Media Conference)
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"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," Carlson said. "With a promising network partnership, the time is ideal to give new leadership the opportunity to move forward with what has been accomplished. Miss America will always be a part of who I am and I will enthusiastically watch as the organization continues to grow and succeed."

Regina Hopper, the organization's CEO, said, "We are grateful for the talents, expertise and time Gretchen gave to move this organization to relevancy, diversity and inclusion for a new generation of young women. We are thrilled she will continue to move this transition forward as an adviser to the board as we work toward a successful Miss America 2020 on NBC, and the 100th anniversary of this American icon in 2021."

Carlson was Miss America 1989.

She will be replaced by Shantel Krebs, the former South Dakota secretary of state. Attorney Brenda Keith will be vice-chair.

"As a female legislator, statewide elected official and entrepreneur, I understand how important it is to empower the coming generations of women to seek out how they can have a positive impact on our society by stepping up to the plate," said Krebs.

The location of this year's pageant still has not been determined.

12 PHOTOS
Miss America 2019 winner Nia Franklin
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Miss America 2019 winner Nia Franklin
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ SEPTEMBER 09: Miss New York Nia Franklin wins the 2019 Miss America Pageant held in Historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ SEPTEMBER 09: Miss New York Nia Franklin wins the 2019 Miss America Pageant held in Historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC_CITY_NJ_ September_9: Miss New York Nia Franklin wins the 2019 Miss America Pageant held in Historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City New Jersey. Tom Briglia /Getty Images
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ SEPTEMBER 09: Miss New York Nia Franklin wins the 2019 Miss America Pageant held in Historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ SEPTEMBER 09: Miss New York Nia Franklin makes the top 10 of the 2019 Miss America Pageant held in Historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia /Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ SEPTEMBER 09: Miss New York Nia Franklin makes the top 10 of the 2019 Miss America Pageant held in Historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia /Getty Images)
MISS AMERICA 2019 - 9/9/18 The '2019 Miss America Competition' broadcasts live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 (9-11pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MISS NEW YORK NIA IMANI FRANKLIN
MISS AMERICA 2019 - 9/9/18 The '2019 Miss America Competition' broadcasts live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 (9-11pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MISS NEW YORK NIA IMANI FRANKLIN
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ SEPTEMBER 09: Miss New York Nia Franklin wins the 2019 Miss America Pageant held in Historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/Getty Images)
MISS AMERICA 2019 - 9/9/18 The '2019 Miss America Competition' broadcasts live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 (9-11pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) CARRIE ANN INABA, MISS AMERICA NIA IMANI FRANKLIN, ROSS MATHEWS
MISS AMERICA 2019 - 9/9/18 The '2019 Miss America Competition' broadcasts live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 (9-11pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MISS FLORIDA TAYLOR TYSON, MISS CONNECTICUT BRIDGET MARY OEI, MISS AMERICA 2019 NIA IMANI FRANKLIN, MISS LOUISIANA HOLLI' CONWAY, MISS MASSACHUSETTS GABRIELA TAVERAS
MISS AMERICA 2019 - 9/9/18 The '2019 Miss America Competition' broadcasts live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 (9-11pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MISS AMERICA NIA IMANI FRANKLIN
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