American Banker is a daily trade newspaper and website covering the financial services industry. Founded in 1836 and based in New York, American Banker has approximately 50 reporters and editors in six U.S. cities who monitor developments and breaking news affecting banks.

Throughout its history, the newspaper has won praise for its coverage of important policy issues. In the 1980s, American Banker won two Gerald Loeb Awards and the George Polk Award for its coverage of two of the decade's major stories: The Chrysler bailout and the collapse of Penn Square Bank.[9][11] Subsequently, the newspaper was recognized for its coverage of the passage of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, congressional debates surrounding regulation of government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the near-constant wave of mergers and acquisitions that affect banks.

Traditionally published as a five-day-a-week print daily, halted its print edition in January 2016, citing the growth of its web edition.[12] AmericanBanker.com receives more than 1 million page views per month, and is updated continuously. Marc Hochstein, previously Executive Editor of American Banker, was named Editor in Chief in August 2014, succeeding Neil Weinberg.[3] Other former editors of American Banker include Barbara A. Rehm, who was editor in chief from 2008 to 2010, and David Longobardi, who was editor in chief from 1999 to 2009, when he was named Chief Content Officer of SourceMedia Inc., the business media company that had owned American Banker since 2004. Edwin A. Finn topped the masthead in 1990–92.[2] and Phil Roosevelt from 1995 to 1999.[2] As of May 2012, Finn was editor and president and Roosevelt was deputy managing editor of Barron's.

The newspaper also sponsors several banking industry conferences and the Most Powerful Women in Banking [2] awards dinner in New York. It awards the Banker of the Year and other Best in Banking honors annually in a special edition.[2] The annual Banker of the Year awards dinner that had been an American Banker tradition on and off since the early 1990s was halted in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008–9.

History

Although often confused with the American Bankers Association or other industry trade groups, American Banker is an independent newspaper and is unaffiliated with any portion of the banking industry. The newspaper was founded as "Thompson's Bank Note Reporter" in 1836 by American financier John Thompson. In 1885, the renamed "Thomson's Bank-Note and Commercial Reporter" was purchased by Anthony Stumpf (1856-1927)[2] and Charles David Steurer (1859-1933)[2] master printers who renamed the weekly publication "The American Banker."[2] The article "the" was dropped from the title decades later. American Banker became a daily newspaper in 1899.[2]

The Otis Years, ca. 1910-1983

Members of the Otis family of Boston purchased the newspaper and its sister publication, Bond Buyer, around 1910, and for several decades it remained a family-owned enterprise. Charles Otis, a former president of The Wall Street Journal and its parent company, Dow Jones & Company, became president and publisher in 1913 and remained in that role until his death in 1944. In 1936, Charles Otis announced the newspaper was marking 100 years of continuous publication by producing a century edition.[2] In 1976, the newspaper's management was overhauled. Willard S. Rappleye Jr., a former Time (magazine) editor was dismissed after 13 years at the helm. American Banker's president, Edward F. McDougal, resigned in protest, and financial editor Ben Weberman also resigned. William S.Shanks, president and minority owner of Bond Buyer, was named president of American Banker.[2] A year later, Shanks was dismissed from both posts by Derick Otis Steinmann (1943-2002), an Otis family descendant.

Steinmann was Chairman and CEO of American Banker and Bond Buyer from 1976 to the mid-1980s. Steinmann transitioned the newspapers to the computer era, and facilitated their sale in 1983 to International Thomson, from the estate of Charles Otis.

Subsequent Ownership

The International Thomson Organization began selling its North American newspapers in 2000 and announced its intention to put American Banker and Bond Buyer on the market in 2001. In 2004, American Banker and Bond Buyer were sold to Investcorp, which operated it as part of its Source Media business. by SourceMedia. In 2014, Investcorp sold Source Media to Observer Capital, a private equity firm founded by Joseph Meyer, the publisher of the New York Observer.