The Anniston Star
The Anniston Star is the daily newspaper serving Anniston, Alabama, and the surrounding six-county region. Average Sunday circulation in September 2004 was 26,747. The newspaper is locally owned by Consolidated Publishing Company, which is controlled by the Ayers family of Anniston.
The July 27, 2005 front page of
The Anniston Star
|Owner(s)||Consolidated Publishing Co.|
|Headquarters||4305 McClellan Boulevard|
Anniston, Alabama 36202
The paper was first published in 1883 as the Anniston Evening Star. It traces its modern history to 1911, when managing editor Col. Harry M. Ayers left to start his own paper, the Anniston Hot Blast—a nod to Anniston's roots as a steel town. By 1912, the Hot Blast had become Anniston's largest newspaper, and was more than large enough to absorb the Evening Star. Although the merged paper was initially called the Anniston Hot Blast and Evening Star, the Hot Blast name was eventually dropped.
Early on, the Star gained a reputation as one of the few liberal-minded Southern newspapers. It was one of the few progressive Southern papers to support Franklin D. Roosevelt during all four of his election campaigns. In 1948, it broke with the Dixiecrats, who had taken over the Democratic machinery in Alabama, and supported Harry Truman for president.
H. Brandt Ayers took over the paper from his father in 1965. Under the younger Ayers' watch, the Star reversed its initial skepticism toward the Civil Rights Movement and strongly supported school integration, one of the few Southern papers to do so. George Wallace derisively nicknamed the paper The Red Star for its support of integration. It has consistently remained one of the more liberal newspapers in a state that has grown increasingly friendly to Republicans.
The Star is Consolidated's flagship paper. Other newspapers printed by the company include The Daily Home, and the weeklies The Cleburne News, the St. Clair Times, and the News Journal.
The Star is a community newspaper and the dominant source of retail advertising in the region. Its online edition offers the content of the print edition, along with syndicated articles from Consolidated's network papers.
On January 2, 2018, former publisher Brandt Ayers admitted that he assaulted Wendy Sigal in her Anniston home in the 1970s. Wendy Sigal was a reporter who worked at the newspaper in 1973 and 1974. He admitted he spanked her, but it was with advice of a doctor. Veronica Pike Kennedy claimed that Ayers spanked her in the Star’s newsroom in 1975 and Ayers seemed to confirm it.
- Lockette, Tim (2 January 2018). "Star's former publisher acknowledges assault on reporter". The Anniston star. Retrieved 4 January 2018.