FROM AN AGRICULTURE EXPERT TO A NEWSPAPERING GURU
JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL, MDN online editor
4th of a series – Conclusion
Beating The "Dragons"
Beating the dragons in the newspapering industry was a hard thing to do. Many have tried but they failed. The dragons have already built their empire in Southern Philippines. But when this young and fresh graduate challenger back in the 90s joined the industry, everything was changed, as little by little he climbed the ladder of success, imprinted his footprints and after a few years he beat them all and build his own empire of publications.
This man I've been telling you is no other than Mr. Dante Macasero Sudaria. He was just an agriculture graduate at MOSCAT in Claveria town, Misamis Oriental. All his life was focused in agriculture. No experience in newspapering. No. Nothing at all. But mind you guys. He graduated a cum laude – so that we can conclude that this great man from the province must be a wise man, a great thinker and an awesome planner. But how did he beat the dragons?
1. He created his influence in the media community and also in the private sector.
After his graduation in agriculture back in the 90s, Dante Sudaria transferred in Cagayan de Oro City to seek for greener pasture. He knew that despite graduating a cum laude, opportunities in his hometown in Claveria were very limited. And since being part of the media, he knew that he has influence to meet top politicians not only in the city but the Philipines in general. He also knew that he can easily get connected with business owners and other influencers in the city who could help him succeed in his future endeavors.
His plan was very successful as month after month he has seen great developments in his career in the media and of being a salesman. His earnings increased tremendously – to the point of earning P100 Thousand per month, and he became known in the mainstream media, professionals and the private sector. These great improvements gave him an idea that he was at the right track in his quest to achieve success in the newspapering industry.
To make his influence in the private sector more solid, Dante Sudaria joined Rotary Club and Eagle's Club, two of the country's prominent and prestigious organizations of professionals and business persons. His clout in the business sector grew even more. Rotary is an international organization saturated all over the globe. The Philippines is under District 3870 and composed of hundreds of different Rotary Clubs nationwide.
2. His plans and programs were very clear to him
Although this great man has no experience when he joined newpaparing business, but his plans and programs were very clear to him. Sudaria could not have graduated a cum laude for nothing. He was destined to make things happen in his own favor. Having very clear plans and programs became his advantage than those other newspaper publishers who failed.
While Sudaria was working very hard in his first and only job employment in his entire career, he studied closely how to run a newspaper business. He carefully learned the ins and outs of being a publisher and how to influence and manage his subordinates who would become his partners in running his own publications in the future. He also studied very carefully both the management side and of being a simple rank and file employee of a newspaper firm.
3. He makes sure he is surrounded with great people in the industry
Although Sudaria was already the boss in his own newspaper business but he learns to handle different types of people in the industry. He welcomed old and new generations of reporters, veteran broadcasters, journalists and top salesmen, who could become his great "Think Tank" to plan and implement greater ideas for the company's new endeavors and maintain its good reputation as the leading newspaper in Southern Philippines, in terms of publication, circulation, readership and technology.
He accepted new and old colleagues to join the paper like former editor of GSD Cris Diaz, Bureau friends Like Pat Samonte in Butuan City, Chris Panganiban in Agusan Del Sur, Al Jacinto /Aj Coral in Zamboanga, Tom Caballero and Sara Castor in Davao City, Rommy Sanchez of Digos City, and some other media friends all over Mindanao, making MDN widely destributed and circulated in Southern Philippines.
Humble beginnings of Mindanao Daily
Mindanao Daily was founded on May 18, 2011, while its office was still at Lapasan Hihgway, now SOGO hotel building. It was conceptualized first for a Visayan newspaper purposely for street sales like Sunstar Super Balita. It looks like a traditonal tabloid newspaper. MDBs pioneering editors in the Visayan version also included Joe del Puerto Felicilda, Joe Pantoja and Sony David and regular editors Nelson Constantino and Ruel Pelone.
Its was named "MINDANAO DAILY BALITA or MDB." The concept lasted for 6 months. Dante's management team conluded that MDB cannnot compete with existing street newspaper editions like BRIGADA, BIRADA, and SunStar SUPER Balita.
Changing the tabloid MDB to simi broadsheet newspaper
When Sudaria was in Manila in 2011, he met a media colleague from Gensan, Mr Mario Basillo, of PUNTO newspaper. They talked about newspapering business as they have the same line of business ventures. There goes the idea of changing MDB into a simi broadsheet paper, since it was only a tabloid like Brigada news back then.
"As I came back home from Manila I immediately ordered Ruel Pelone, the Editor-in-chief, to change the paper size to a bigger one. We also change from Visayan version to English version to accomodate the growing demands of an English newspaper," Dante narrated.
Then we moved from Lapasan office to the current location in Brgy Consolacion.
Late in 2011, the building owner called up and told Dante that a Hotel will be renting the whole building in Lapasan. He was forced to look for another location until he found Tanleh Bldg in Consolacion. It was more spacious to run a newspaper publishing business and more spacious to house the printing machines.
It was also in 2011 that Mr Allan Mediante the former editor-in-chief of GSD for 15 years came home to Philippines from USA. At that time, his wife died from cancer illness. Upon Dante's invitation, Mediante also joined Sudaria's fastest growing newspaper business.
Business Week's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
With Sudaria's partnership with Allan Mediate, the first Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards was conceptualized. As a corporate social responsibility of BusineassWeek Mindanao, it is aimed at honoring businesses that help propel the economic growth of Mindanao in terms of developments. The first business awards was held sometime in October 2012 at Pryce Plaza hotel, with the help and support of the hotel's former manager Ped Quiamjot.
Then it was also followed with another flagship awards for journalism writers. It was dubbed as "The Mindanao Journalism Execellence Awards." The purpose is to recognize elementary, high school and college students active and excellent activities in journalism. This also included LGUs and National agency information officers and corporate writers.
Aside from that, BusinessWeek is also regularly initiating trainings and seminars for journalism and broadcasting at its Media Center. The project is under the able leadership of veteran broadcaster, Mr Joe del Puerto Felicilda as the Training Director.
Business Week Mindanao under the editorial management of veteran editor Nelson Constantino aldo garnered journalistic awards from PPI or Philippine Press Instutute as the best weekly newspaper in the country in Business and Economic reporting.
Dante Sudaria's favorite motto that give him a colorful life and business
Despite his tremendous successes in the newpapering industry, Sudaria remains to be humble and live a simple life. His day to day life was only focused with his family and business.
In a span of almost 2 decades, Dante has lived a life of abundance and happy family. He has also established his own multi-million house in the city, with solid mediterranean concept and style, a Toyota Pick Up and the famous Montero vehicle.
When asked about his guiding motto that propels him to fly high and just enjoy what life brings, he simply answers "GOD WILL PROVIDE, DISKARTE LANG." ###