The Los Angeles Times has eliminated a number of freelance books columnists, including Susan Salter Reynolds, author of the weekly “Discoveries” column. Books staffers Carolyn Kellogg, Jon Thurber, David Ulin, and Nick Owchar all remain at the newspaper.
Publishers Weekly had the scoop: “Reynolds was with the Times for 23 years as both a staffer and freelancer and wrote the ‘Discoveries’ column that appeared each week in the Sunday book review. She was told that her column was cancelled and will not be replaced by another writer … Jon Thurber, editor of the book review, explained to Reynolds last Thursday that 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.”
In addition, “Paperback Writers” columnist Richard Rayner and “Word Play” columnist Sonja Bolle were also cut. Blog editor Tony Pierce has also been laid off. The newspaper would not reveal how many freelance jobs were lost. A spokesperson told Publishers Weekly “we have not changed our commitment” to writing about books.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated as the story evolved.