It’s perhaps the largest paid-for newspaper in the United Kingdom that remains independent of the national chains. Its founding was largely inspired by a Radical Liberal from Dunfermline, Thomas Graham, who wanted a newspaper to challenge Wolverhampton’s existing Conservative newspaper, the Evening Express (originally The Midland Counties Evening Express, a Conservative newspaper founded in 1874). Accordingly, in 1880 some of his Liberal friends set up the Evening Star. Two years later Graham persuaded fellow Dunfermliner, the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, to buy a share in the Star; Carnegie readily agreed, seeing it as a vehicle to push his republican political views. In 1884 it merged with the Express as The Evening Express and Star and took on its existing name in 1889. Carnegie sold his stake in the paper in 1902, leaving Graham in overall control. The paper’s remained in the Graham family’s hands ever since.
It’s appeared in a fluctuating number of geographical editions. Only a few years ago there were as many as nine; since 2011 there have been five, covering:
- Wolverhampton (City Final)
- Dudley & Wyre Forest
The editions no longer produced covered: Birmingham; Cannock & Lichfield (now covered in the Staffordshire edition); Kidderminster; and Stourbridge (both covered in the Dudley & Wyre Forest edition).
There are also two weekend editions: East and West, covering those respective halves of the circulation area.
All editions are also available as paid e-editions.
Its publisher, Midland News Association, introduced a part-paywall on the Express & Star‘s website in April 2011, under which photo galleries, match analysis and real-time traffic and travel information were available only on the premium website and via an iPhone/iPad app. Edited highlights of breaking news stories remained free. The move also affected the Express & Star‘s sister paper for Shropshire, the Shropshire Star. However, in January 2012 MNA announced the removal of the paywalls.
Apps are now also available for Android and Kindle Fire devices.