TLC finally made a decision. On July 16, nearly two months after In Touch broke the story that Josh Duggar, 27, had molested five female minors as teenager, and parents Jim Bob and Michelle had covered it up, the network announced that it was pulling the plug on 19 Kids and Counting.
Though the Duggar family issued a statement saying, “God holds the future,” the financial price they’re paying as a result of the scandal is steep. Not only has their estimated $45,000-per-episode pay-check been yanked, but the deep well of lucrative endorsements and speaking gigs has also dried up.
“With the show, royalties, sponsorships and speaking engagements ending, the Duggars could be losing $25 million or more a year,” says a branding expert and Strategic Vision CEO David Johnson. The family could still make occasional appearances at a discounted rate, but “Josh is so radioactive right now, no one’s going to touch him,” Johnson notes.
The family’s refusal to come clean about the scandal is also hurting them. “The stigma is on all of them,” Johnson says, “because there are so many questions left about what they really do know – and if they are hiding any more secrets.”
For more on the Duggars, pick up the latest issue of Life & Style, on stands now.