However, these centenary festivities were short-lived and a short time later, on 8 November, Il Sole announced its merger with 24 Ore, the Milan-based newspaper that since 1946 had been a competitor.
The new financial daily first appeared on the press stands on 12 September 1946, a date that was not chosen at random, being the day on which the Milan exhibition centre was reopened. By choosing this date, 24 Ore wanted to emphasize its desire for the recovery of the Italian economy and its hopes for Milanese economy and business.
24 Ore was set up by an enthusiastic group of young economists led by Ferdinando di Fenizio, Libero Lenti and Roberto Tremelloni, who on 15 February 1933, and with the blessing of Luigi Einaudi, had created the financial magazine Borsa, which managed to survive fascist censorship for just 27 issues. Particularly irritating was its “Economic thrillers” section which ridiculed the theories of corporativist economic policy. Of the original group, Tremelloni quickly left the company to return to politics, but he left an important heritage: the newspaper that he “invented”. Another member of the group, Federico Maria Pacces, brought with him the newspaper Il Commercio, which 24 Ore initially combined with its own name. It was not until September 1948 that the name dropped all reference to the old Piedmont weekly.
Post-war restrictions on paper explain the choice of salmon-coloured paper, as it was easier to obtain (albeit slightly more expensive). It also helped the newspaper to distinguish itself from the competition and to secure advertising business. It was printed at the same print works as the Corriere della Sera, at whose Via Montebello 3 premises the new newspaper set up its first headquarters.
Piero Colombi, who was the managing editor of the newspaper from 1 February 1948 (succeeding Adolfo Borzoni) until his sudden death on 21 August 1960, brought the benefit of an experience that was different to that of the other founders, with their economic and academic backgrounds. As a stock-market trader, he had fought hard for years for the modernisation of the financial markets. Thus they created an original information model that gave the same weight to debate as to economic, financial and political news, the latter being given in daily reports by Italo Minunni, who subsequently became managing editor of the newspaper. The articles written by a range of experts and scholars were particularly innovative (it was not until 1957 that Il Sole ran regular articles by the well-known economist Guglielmo Tagliacarne) including (in addition to the founders) Amintore Fanfani, Innocenzo Gasparini, Armando Sapori and Cesare Merzagora, and occasionally Ferruccio Parri and Luigi Sturzo, followed in later years by Mario Boneschi, Silvio Pozzani, Gino Boeri, Giorgio Pivato, Ernesto d’Albergo, Francesco Saja, Giordano dell’Amore, Aldo Pagani, Eugenio Scàlfari (sic), Pier Paolo Luzzatto Fegiz, Franco Mattei, Francesco Compagna, Ferdinando Ventriglia, Giovanni Malagodi, Mario Talamona, and Bruno Leoni. The liberalism of the newspaper, clearly influenced by Einaudi and therefore quite different from that espoused by Il Sole, and the deep-rooted suspicion of state intervention, brought it into conflict with some of the untouchables of contemporary economic culture, such as Ernesto Rossi and Gaetano Salvemini, in Il Mondo.
“Of all of the founders of 24 Ore [Guido Carli] provided the enlightenment”.