Donald Trump Takes Hands-On Approach To Business

By Shannon Davidson

(LOS ANGELES, April 12th, 2004, 6:30 p.m.) -- Donald Trump. He's a real estate developer worth about $5 billion. He has a hit show on NBC. And he has most recently dipped into the world of beauty pageants. Donald Trump is keeping very busy these days, but he wasn't too busy to sit down with our Shannon Davidson recently in Los Angeles to talk about Miss USA and "The Apprentice."

Fifty-one beautiful contestants from all over the country are in Los Angeles competing for the Miss USA title. The owner of the pageant, Donald Trump, was in town recently promoting the event. Naturally he stayed in the finest hotel available: the Beverly Hills Hotel.

He may be a business tycoon but Trump has a sense of humor. He says he never gets tired of being surrounded by beautiful women. "There's nothing like them."

This is the second year the Miss USA pageant has been under Trump's reign. Last year, the man with the Midas touch brought high ratings -- viewership was up 50 percent from 2002. And this year, Trump promises big numbers and gorgeous gals.

"I said, 'it's a beauty contest. They said, 'please don't use that word, Mr. Trump.' I said, 'but it's a beauty contest.'"

When Trump isn't surrounding himself with the nation's most beautiful women, he's producing and starring in a little show you may have seeen on NBC called "The Apprentice." Trump says it's a reality show that "shows the viciousness and the brilliance of New York City, it shows the good and the bad. But nobody knows why it's gotten the viewership it's gotten."

Maybe it's because Americans want to see some of the country's best and brightest duking it out for a top spot in one of Trump's company's. Or maybe it's to see how "The Donald" conducts business.

"I think I'm a very hands-on person," Trump said. "I believe in delegation, but I'd rather do it myself. At least this way, I can get it done right."

The Miss USA pageant airs tonight right here on WAVE 3 at 9 p.m. The final two-hour live episode of "The Apprentice" airs this Thursday from 9 to 11 p.m.

Online Reporter: Shannon Davidson

Online Producer: Michael Dever