It all started when it was announced that Kale Browne (Sam Rappaport) had not been offered a new contract and was leaving the show. According to Browne, he "was notified by [OLTL Executive Producer Gary Tomlin] that ABC was not interested in renewing my contract." His last tape date will be around March 15th, making his last airdate sometime in early April. Browne says that he will not be following former OLTL Exec. Producer Jill Farren Phelps to General Hospital as some have suggested, but plans to remain in New York for the time being and pursue theater work. Rather than letting the character leave town, it appears that OLTL plans to recast the role. Names suggested as possible recasts include Randolph Mantooth (ex-Alex, Loving/The City), Dennis Parlato (ex-Clay, Loving; ex-Michael Grande, OLTL), John Martin (ex-Hank, SB; ex-Jon Russell, OLTL) and Gregg Marx (ex-Tom, ATWT). Parlato and Martin would seem to be unlikely recasts, however, since they have played substantial roles on OLTL in the past.
Soon after, the news broke that OLTL Head Writer Megan McTavish would be moving to General Hospital and would be replaced by co-Head Writers Lorraine Broderick and Chris Whitesell.
Now it has been confirmed that Ty Treadway and Timothy Gibbs will both be leaving in the next few months. Treadway's departure is storyline-dictated and with nearly everyone in Llanview having a reason to want him dead, a murder-mystery ending for him seems likely. Gibbs, on the other hand, decided to leave on his own and is quoted by Soap Opera Digest as commenting "Hopefully, I'll be out of there soon. I'm ready to go." Gibbs has already taped his last episode on Wednesday, February 21st, which will air on Monday, March 19th. He is already auditioning for new, non-soap, roles and is working on an independent film.
As to who might be the next to go, it is rumored that Jason-Shane Scott (Will) will not be offered a renewal when his contract is up this summer. Also mentioned in exit talk is Charissa Cree Chamorro (Sophia), who still has a year left on her contract. Most soap opera contracts, however, have release clauses on 13 week cycles, which means that an actor/actress could be let go at the end of each 13 week period.
On a brighter note, Robin Strasser (Dorian Lord) finishes up her taping at Passions on March 15th. Strasser has worked with new OLTL EP Gary Tomlin before and has made positive comments about him to the press, lending support to the rumor that she could be convinced to return to OLTL.