The hiring freeze started right after Jill Tucker was hired by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006. The paper was losing tens of millions of dollars a year and shedding staff through buyouts and attrition. Layoffs started a couple of years later.
“I was the least senior reporter here for four or five years,” says Tucker, who covers K-12 education for the Chronicle. One of the senior editors who hired her told her, in 2007, that he didn’t think he’d ever hire another journalist again.