The Frias Family controls Folha da Manhã S. A. (‘Morning Paper Inc.’) for two generations, since Octávio Frias de Oliveira and his partner Carlos Caldeira Filho, purchased the company, in August 1962. Two years earlier, the newspaper had its title changed to Folha de S. Paulo, but the name of the partnership remained the same since its original registration, in 1931.
Octávio Frias and Caldeira acquired three TV stations in 1967, in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, organizing what would be the embryo of a network associated to São Paulo’s TV Excelsior. The project ended up being abandoned two years later. At the same time, they invested in the industrial modernization of Folha de São Paulo, with the purchase of new equipment.
Otávio Frias Filho took on the role of general-secretary of the company’s newly created Editorial Council in 1978, starting the family’s second generation run ahead of the business. Folha de S. Paulo would start, at that moment, a series of changes in its offices’ structure, with the Editorial Council being responsible for the implementation of “Projeto Folha” (Folha Project) - that consisted of the adoption of a new editorial line of work for the newspaper, including the incorporation of marketing strategies in its journalistic actions.
Otávio Frias Filho had just arrived in Folha, where he started working in 1975. In the period, he wrote editorials and No período, escrevia editoriais e advised the chief editor, Cláudio Abramo. He graduated in Law in 1980, at Universidade de São Paulo (USP), and later took a postgraduate in Anthropology at the same University, but failed to present a dissertation that would grant him a Master’s degree. He also wrote six theater plays, three of which were included in the book Tutankaton (1991), along with essays about culture.
In 1981, after a journalists’ strike movement in the city of São Paulo, Folha de S. Paulo changed its criteria for filling the company’s positions of trust. Lead by Otávio Frias Filho, the editorial council started demanding, from the occupants of such positions, solidarity with the newspaper’s political project. In a document published in the following year, “Folha, in pursuit of non-partisanship as a reflex of its professionalism”, the council lead by Otávio Frias Filho pointed out that the struggle to be undertaken by journalism should be “against prejudice, against commonsense, against the lack of clarity and concision, against ambiguous and incomplete information”. In 1984, Frias Filho took the role of writing director in the newspaper, keeping the responsibility for its editorial reform. Among his main measures during this period associated to Projeto Folha, is the release of Folha de São Paulo’s writing manual, that systematized the proceedings and normatized the operations of the writing offices, besides the creation of the ombudsman position, that happens in 1989.
Since taking on the Folha de São Paulo’s leadership, Otávio Frias Filho prioritized the technical and operational aspects of journalism management, in a alleged turn in relation to an eventual more political approach previously adopted by the newsroom. The period also coincides with a moment of transition in the succession of Folha Group’s leadership: from the former owner, Octávio Frias de Oliveira, to his sons Otávio and Luís. The latter, would take on te presidency of the company in 1993, position that he occupies until today.
Octávio Frias and Caldeira broke up their partnership in 1991, after 30 years of mutual collaboration. Frias kept the control of the communications company, while the latter took on the remaining business and properties common to the enterprises. Frias passed away in 2007.
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Carlos Caldeira Filho was a business partner of Frias family from 1962 to 1992. He was also mayor of Santos between 1979 and 1980, nominated by Paulo Maluf (ARENA). He was president of the Cásper Líbero Foundation from 1976 to 1979.
Patury, Felipe. Jornal cresce e se torna grupo de mídia. Accessed Oct. 2017