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Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:33 pm Post subject: Star columnist Angelo Persichilli to join PMO
Star columnist Angelo Persichilli to join PMO
Published On Wed Aug 31 2011
Angelo Persichilli is being named the prime minister's new director of communications, replacing outgoing spokesman Dimitri Soudas
OTTAWA—Toronto Star columnist Angelo Persichilli is being named the prime minister’s new director of communications, replacing outgoing spokesman Dimitri Soudas, the Star has learned.
His appointment was announced by the Prime Minister’s Office just before noon Wednesday.
Persichilli, 63, was political editor for the Italian-language newspaper Corriere Canadese for years. His Star columns were reprinted in the Hill Times, a parliamentary news outlet with prominent circulation among political decision-makers in the nation’s capital. He also appeared as a weekly political commentator on Omni-T.
He recently told a Star reporter said he’d given up his Corriere Canadese column — he remains political editor emeritus — and was ready to move on to other things, though he had not decided what the next role would be.
Persichilli has frequently interviewed Prime Minister Stephen Harper over the years. He was one of a few hand-picked to cover Harper’s visit with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome during last summer’s trip to Italy.
Just two weeks ago, he wrote that “Harper, like Trudeau, prefers to deliver his message to the people directly and tries to avoid the filter of journalists as much as possible.”
In June, he described Harper’s first budget as a majority prime minister as “significant because it marked the end of the first phase of the Harperization of Canadian politics, and the beginning of the second phase that will unfold during the next four years and beyond.”
“The process has been driven by a combination of the dynamic leadership of Stephen Harper and the political vacuum afflicting the Liberal party,” wrote Persichilli.
Born in Campobasso, Italy in 1948, Persichilli is married and father of two adult children. His resume says he wrote for the national newspaper Il Tempo in Rome while studying engineering but quit university to pursue a career in journalism.
He immigrated to Canada in 1975, began working for Corriere Canadese before joining CFMT (now the multicultural broadcaster Omni network). He spent years there, coordinated Chinese, Italian and Portuguese language news programming and overseeing daily newscasts.
“He’s a proven communicator, he understands media and the business, and third language media, which our office pays attention to,” said a government official.
In his new role, Persichilli will preside over a communications staff of press secretaries and deputy spokespeople. He will be responsible for charting the government’s overall message for a wide range of media and platforms.
Harper’s press secretary Andrew MacDougall becomes Harper’s associate director of communications and spokesman.
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