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How did the Star-News get its name? Was it ever called anything else?

Ben Steelman

It was actually called “The Evening Star” when it was first issued as an afternoon newspaper on Sept. 23, 1867. Editor-publisher W.H. Bernard soon decided to switch to morning circulation, and on Oct. 15, 1867, it was rechristened the Morning Star. “THE EVENING STAR goes down (but not in defeat) and THE MORNING STAR rises in its place,” Bernard wrote in an editorial.

The “Star-News” name dates from the late 1920s. In 1923, the Wilmington Morning Star launched an afternoon daily, the Wilmington News, which was sold to a rival paper but reacquired in 1929. The two papers put out a single edition on Sundays, the Sunday Star-News. As afternoon dailies declined in the Television Era, the News was discontinued in 1975, but the New York Times Co. (which acquired the Wilmington paper that same year) chose to keep the “Star-News” name on the Sunday edition for proprietary reasons.

The paper continued a somewhat schizophrenic existence — the Morning Star six days a week, the Star-News on Sundays — until 2002 when, as part of an major redesign, management decided to reduce confusion and go with the Star-News name for all issues.

A North Carolina highway historical marker — erected April 6, 1971, in front of the Star-News office at 1003 S. 17th St., Wilmington [Map this] — recognized the Morning Star (er, Star-News) as the oldest daily newspaper in continuous publication in the state.

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