Charlotte banking reporter joining Reuters to cover banking
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Charlotte Observer business editor John Arwood sent out the following announcement to the staff:
We’re sorry to announce that Rick Rothacker is leaving the Observer to become a Charlotte-based reporter for the Reuters news agency.
Rick has covered banking during historic times for the banking industry and for Charlotte. From acquisitions to explosive growth to meltdown and an uncertain recovery — Rick has covered it all with distinction. In so doing, he made sure the Observer was a must-read for anyone following the fortunes of Charlotte’s big banks — from investors to employees, from consumers to executives.
In the fall of 2008, with the financial world collapsing, Rick had 31 Page One bylines over 30 days — relentlessly working sources, synthesizing complex documents, filing online and explaining what it all meant to the banks and to this city. He likened that period to an election night every day for a month. In the aftermath, Rick gave readers deep insight into the events that led to the meltdown. In “The Good Deal That Wasn’t,” he took readers inside Wachovia board rooms and traced the ill-fated decision to purchase Golden West.
Rick’s coverage of the financial crisis earned him the Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in financial journalism. His work has also been recognized with awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. And his book, “Banktown: The Rise and Struggles of Charlotte’s Big Banks” traced the history of Charlotte as a banking town, and vividly reconstructed what took place behind the scenes as the financial world collapsed. It’s a credit to Rick, and to the Observer, that many of the scenes depicted in the book were first reported by Rick, on deadline, in the pages of this newspaper.
This year, Rick added to his responsibilities, taking on some editing duties in the business department. In that role, too, he has been a valued colleague, helping guide coverage and making stories better — all while continuing to excel as a reporter, documenting this summer’s roller-coaster ride for Bank of America. On any given day, you could find Rick working on his next big weekender, filing updates online, budgeting a daily for tomorrow’s print edition, and helping edit stories.
Rick started his Observer career in 1998 covering local government in the Gaston bureau. He ends it as a reporter whose expertise and authority are recognized around the country. We will miss him.
Rick’s last day is Sept. 23.
Reuters has another banking reporter, Joe Rauch, based in Charlotte covering Bank of America.