The editorial staff of Italian financial daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, yesterday decided to call a three-day strike, Franco Abruzzo, the former president of the Lombardy region's Ordine dei Giornalisti, reported.
A staff meeting effectively passed a motion of no confidence in the editor-in-chief, Gianni Riotta. The staff representative committee will decide when to call the strike, awaiting the board of directors meeting, planned for January 16th, when the newspaper's global situation will be analysed.
Riotta is accused of having caused a loss of 54 000 copies in the past 18 months. And despite the Sunday supplement Il Domenicale's transformation to a tabloid format, which Riotta strongly supported, resulting in a flop, he has still insisted on pursuing converting the daily paper to that format.
On January 7, Affaritaliani.it published an email from Nicola Borzi, journalist and former member of the Sole 24 Ore staff representative committee, in which he released the "real" figures of the Confindustria publisher group's balance sheet. Attaching the files, Borzi showed the newspaper's collapse in circulation and the €24.6 million loss, which has increased by 11.64% compared with last year.
The new tabloid format of Il Domenicale should have been the first step toward the daily paper becoming tabloid too. But a study on the negative effects of the format on advertising, prepared by Andrea Chiapponi, former director of System, the advertising agency of the group Il Sole 24 Ore, previously revealed that the change might imply a drop of about 15-25% of income.
As Piero Macrì noted on EJO's website, "the crisis of Il Sole has to be analysed in a broader perspective, not just referring to the general crisis the press is facing. It is due to an unsatisfactory editorial strategy". Il Sole - Macrì says - is one of the few European newspapers that despite being the Italian financial newspaper par excellence has not been able to increase the value of its position.
He noted that there are examples in Italy of successful newspapers, such as Il Giornale and Il Fatto Quotidiano, which, no matter their political views, have been able to build a winning position in the printed market, based on a strong identity.