I have no proof of this, but I imagine that it wasn't that Harley was that expensive. I think Jed definitely was and that Robin and possible Justin Deas were. So TPTB looked for ways to cut back. That put Harley in the bullseye. And then TPTB regretted the decision but it was too late.
Speaking of Jed Allan, I was reading through the YouTube comments from when he takes over the role and people say he's so much more evil than Bateman. I see CC differently. I see that when he came out of that coma, Lionel was leaching all over Sophia who wasn't fighting it very hard. Gina was bragging about the stuff she's pulled. And CC was a man betrayed and hurt to the depths of his soul. That's not a comfortable emotion, so he turned to rage and fury. And Jed Allan was perfect.