The Star (Dunedin)
Second-longest lasting of Dunedin's newspapers, The Evening Star was the only rival to the Otago Daily Times (ODT) to survive beyond the first few years of the twentieth century. It was founded by G. A. Henningham and Co., edited by George Henningham, and originally printed in Stafford Street, above the Exchange area of the city. In its first few years the company was bought by William Henningham, the founder's brother. In June 1869, William Henningham ran into financial difficulties and the Evening Star was sold by liquidators to George Bell, who also ran a small evening paper, the Independent. Bell merged the two newspapers to form firstly the short-lived Morning Star, and then the far more successful Evening Star, which was first published under this title on June 14, 1869. Under Bell's editorship the paper thrived and it soon began to outsell almost all of its rivals. Bell remained editor until 1895.
The paper's readership slowly declined during the period from the 1960s to the 1970s. In 1975 the Star's owners bought the ODT. The resulting merger of companies formed Allied Press, which still publishes the ODT and numerous smaller papers throughout New Zealand, as well as running Dunedin's local television station, Channel 9.
In 1979 The Evening Star was closed and replaced with the Sunday weekly (at times additionally on Wednesday) free newspaper The Star (initially Dunedin Star and subtitled Weekender and Midweek).
Julian Smith, the managing director of Allied Press since 1986, is a great-great-grandson of George Bell.