Chronicle deputy managing editor Steven Proctor told the SF Weekly that money was definitely an object in making the decision:
The Chron's beat reporters will now be relied upon to turn up the fodder that leads to investigative stories -- and write them. If need be, a beat reporter may be given a few weeks to track down such a lead. ...Williams' former team members left the paper earlier this year in the latest round of downsizing.
"If money wasn't an object, we'd have more of a combo approach," [Proctor] says. "Obviously, we have fewer people than we did at one time. That does require changes in strategy."