TORONTO - It seems only yesterday that the [new] Corriere Canadese published its first edition, six months after the old administration had brought the original newspaper into bankruptcy. Happily, not everyone thought that should be a final farewell.
Two individuals, friends to each other (and to me), proud of their Italian origin, the culture of its language and all that it represents, were unwilling to see such an ignominious end to this element of Italianita’ that the newspaper had nurtured in Canada. Donato Montesano and Sam Primucci were determined to revive it and to give it purpose.
They didn’t ask how it would be done, nor how much it might cost. What they did know is that there was a pool of unemployed writing talent that could be utilized and an “infrastructure” of disappointed readers who saw themselves deprived of a connection to the community to the events of the day and to their cultural metropolis – Italy.
It was of little interest to them that Media in general and the Newspaper industry in particular were (and continue to be) in a precipitous decline.
They genuinely felt that the Italian community had distinguished itself for its progressive disposition and commitment to growth in Canada; it should not so easily relinquish its well-earned leadership role in creating a modern Canadian society built on foundations stones of a work ethic, family and mutual respect.
Altruistic and ambitious perhaps but genuine, nonetheless. For better or for worse, they approached me to join them in this venture …no, mission. Most people we contacted were of the opinion the project was doomed to failure.
Some were polite but in the words in the words of one rather well-off publisher, “…the Corriere is dead; not even you and your friends can bring it back to life”.
Today, thanks to staff, contributors, subscribers, readers, supporters and advertisers [in] of the Corriere Canadese, the Corriere is the largest paid community DAILY publication in the country.
Unlike the others, including the mainstream Press, it receives no Federal or Provincial government funding. Yet, we can boast an annual readership approaching 2,000,000. Our digital presence reaches more than 200,000, monthly. It is growing.
Our pilot project to bring an Internet Protocol TV Online to enhance our hardcopy presence received 185,000 views in the first five months of operation. It too is in expansion mode.
We could go on. It is more important to thank everyone who believed, and continue to trust, in the Corriere Canadese. We celebrate that commitment with them.
Most of all, we commit to continue to improve and to grow with them. Auguri.