In a move as significant for its breadth as its implications for the future of book coverage, the Los Angeles Times book review laid off all of its freelance book reviewers and columnists on July 21. [According to LA Times Book Review editor Jon Thurber,] all books-related stories will now be done in-house, and that the decision to cease eliminate non-staffers was based on his freelance budget being cut.
Paid book reviews are quickly becoming a quaint memory. I expect to see the LA Times cut more jobs in the next few years; the book review section is usually the canary in the coal mine. When you cut arts coverage to save money, you lose readers.