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'The Bold and the Beautiful' star Ronn Moss speaks out on departure -- EXCLUSIVE

Nearly two weeks ago, Ronn Moss shocked the soap world when EW exclusively reported that the star would leave The Bold and the Beautiful in September. There were rumblings of salary issues, but since the news broke, Moss has kept quiet about exactly why he’s leaving the show he’s called home since its inception, for the past 25 years.

But now EW has yet another exclusive, as Moss sat down with us to chat about exactly his reasoning behind leaving the drama. Was it money? Partially. New opportunities? That factored in, too. Truly, there are many reasons, many of which Moss went into during our interview with him below.

Throughout this transition, however, Moss has been mostly concerned with his fans — those dedicated, rabid soap fans out there — and how they’re reacting to the news, which is why he wanted to talk exclusively to EW, to explain to viewers why he made this choice and what his future will hold. “I just want all of these people — and it sounds altruistic and whatever, but I really, strongly feel it — to be okay with this,” Moss told EW as he sat down for an hour-long chat at the Los Angeles Four Seasons on Aug. 21. “It’s a massive transition for them. They consider me family, and I feel an obligation to be a part of their family.”

Warning: Moss is a talker, so the interview is long, but here’s the (mostly) uncensored version of what he had to say about why he left — and what’s next:

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'The Bold and the Beautiful': Original cast member Ronn Moss exiting after 25 years -- EXCLUSIVE

After more than two decades on The Bold and the Beautiful, Ronn Moss is leaving the CBS soap where he’s played fashion magnate Ridge Forrester since the show’s 1987 inception, EW has learned exclusively.

The exact details are unclear, but an insider tells EW that Moss elected not to renew his contract over salary issues. Moss could not be reached for comment.

Production company Bell Phillip Television confirmed the exit. “Ronn has spent an amazing 25 years with B&B,” a rep for Bell Phillip said in a statement. “We will always consider him family, and we wish him only the best in all of his future endeavors.”

Moss was one of the so-called “core four” on Bold, referring to the foursome of original actors still on the show, including Susan Flannery as Stephanie Forrester, John McCook as Eric Forrester, and Katherine Kelly Lang as Brooke Logan.

Moss will shoot his final scenes for The Bold and the Beautiful this Tuesday, Aug. 14, and his last episode will air on a yet-to-be-determined date in September. (As a bit of hope for you fans out there: Big soap stars can — and sometimes do — return after leaving.)

It’s no secret that times have been tough for the genre lately, as just four daytime soaps — Bold, The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives, and General Hospital — remain on network television. Moss’ pay issue undoubtedly goes back to the stark reality that, as daytime viewers continue to choose alternatives like cable programming and talk shows, soap operas don’t attract the same kind of audience they once did. For the week ending Aug. 3, Bold drew 3.1 million viewers, putting it in second place behind genre leader The Young and the Restless. Still, Bold is considered to be the most profitable sudser in daytime because of its success internationally, with 26.2 million worldwide viewers.

That huge international audience has made Moss a star around the world, exemplified by his second-place finish on Italy’s version of Dancing with the Stars in 2010 and an orange juice television advertisement in Australia, where he is particularly popular.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
Lesbian storyline coming to ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ — EXCLUSIVE
‘Bold and the Beautiful’ star Joanna Johnson comes out
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy noms; ‘Bold and Beautiful’ left out
ABC keeping ‘General Hospital,’ cancels ‘Revolution’

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