'Fixer Upper' news: Chip and Joanna Gaines rumored to have quit HGTV show for a better contract
Designer duo Chip and Joanna Gaines first announced the end of "Fixer Upper" on their blog on Sept. 26, saying that it was not an easy decision to make for the couple.
However, Page Six TV reported that the two are actually leaving because of HGTV's "horrible contracts." The publication also said that the couple is hoping to land a bigger, better deal with Discovery Channel.
Brock Murphy, the public relations director for the Gaines-owned company Magnolia Market also told Page Six, "Chip and Jo's decision to leave 'Fixer Upper' is truly just based on wanting to catch their breath for a minute; to rest, refresh, and spend even more time with their family and growing businesses."
"Fixer Upper" is signed under HGTV, which is owned by Scripps.
Since Scripps is in the process of being bought by Discovery, the couple is hoping that Discovery will try to negotiate them back on air once they successfully purchase Scripps.
An insider source at HGTV told Page Six that Scripps talent contracts are "very restrictive."
"The talent can't do anything without their approval — any appearance, any publicity, any endorsement, any product — you have to ask them for permission," the insider said. "It is awful. And on top of that, Scripps takes a big percentage of everything you make — books, appearances, endorsements, products. If you make money, they take most of the money."
The insider also confided that Scripps learned their lesson from Rachael Ray, who launched her own magazine, product lines and endorsement deals — much like the Gaineses did, except it all happened before the allegedly restrictive Scripps contracts.
"[Ray] made tens of millions and Scripps got none of it. After Rachael, they made sure no talent deal would ever put them in that situation again," the source further said.
The Gaines may have to wait a long time before going back on the air, however, as Discovery has not yet been vetted to buy Scripps. That means Discovery executives will not be able to talk business with any Scripps talent until 2018.
A representative for HGTV has denied all these information, stressing that Chip and Joanna have already revealed the reason for their departure in their statement.
Murphy echoed this statement, saying, "It is not based on anything else people might read."
"Fixer Upper" season 5 premieres on Tuesday, Nov. 28 on HGTV.