Romeo Escobar, the President of the Miss Universe Belize Organization, announced the withdrawal of the Miss Universe franchise. The decision comes on the heels of changes being made by the new owners of the Miss Universe Organization, the JKN Global Group. Among the new implementations of its business model, the JKN Global Group is now including a bidding process for the franchise in each country, which Escobar says is not in line with the way he conducts business and which he believes is unsustainable. For these reasons, he is parting ways with Miss Universe and giving up the franchise. Escobar first took over the franchise in 2018 and has fielded four queens: Jenelli Fraser, Destinee Arnold, Iris Salguero, and Ashley Lightburn. Lightburn, who currently holds the Miss Belize 2022 title, will continue her reign until August 2023. Escobar ends the release by saying that he hopes that the next person who takes on the Miss Universe franchise in Belize continues the hard work and legacy that he and his team have worked to build over the last five years. News Five has been reliably informed that several persons are interested in acquiring the franchise. So we look forward to that announcement. Of note is that among the changes by JKN Global Group is that each country's delegate must be chosen by June of this year.

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