The Star is now the third largest newspaper in Kenya and is still growing rapidly. It was launched in July 2007 as the Nairobi Star, a 32 page tabloid style newspaper concentrating on human interest stories in Nairobi and Kenya.
Focus groups had said that Kenyans were fed up with politics and wanted something different in their newspapers. However the reality proved different. Kenyans expect a heavy dose of politics in their papers.
In 2008 the paper switched to a more political general news format while retaining its original strong focus on society stories, english premier league sport, and inside political information. In 2008 the paper acquired its own printing press that gave it the capacity to cover late-breaking stories that it previously lacked.
In 2009 it was rebranded as the Star (dropping the Nairobi moniker) and refocussed on national news and additional op-ed pages that provided an open forum for political debate.
The Star adopted the slogan 'Fresh, Independent, Different' to differentiate itself from its two main competitors that were perceived as excessively conservative.
The Star remains the most independent of the Kenyan newspapers and probably the most outspoken. It has more regional news, more sports news, more social pages and more opinion columns than its competitors.
It targets a younger market than the Standard and the Nation but particularly tries to attract the attention of the 'thinking' reader. It has been running an advertising campaign with the catchline 'Smart People Read the Star'.
The Star is majority owned by the Radio Africa Group, who also operate Kiss FM and Classic FM, urban Kenya's most popular radio stations, as well as Kiss TV, Radio Jambo, XFM and East FM.
The Managing Director of the Star is William Pike. The Editor is Catherine Gicheru. The General Manager is Patrick Ndeda. The Group Managing Director of Radio Africa is Patrick Quarcoo.