|Headquarters||771 E. Daily Dr|
The Ventura County Star (Marked online as VC Star) is a daily newspaper published in Camarillo, California and serves all of Ventura County. It is owned by Gannett, the largest publisher of newspapers in the United States. It is a successor to a number of daily newspapers published around Ventura County during the 20th century.
The Ventura County Star was founded in 1925 by the John P. Scripps Newspaper Group, which merged with E. W. Scripps in 1986. Around 1936, the Star acquired the Ventura Free Press (which itself was founded in 1875), and began publishing as the Ventura County Star-Free Press in 1938.
E. W. Scripps purchased the Camarillo Daily News in 1992 from Harris Enterprises. The daily Simi Valley Enterprise and the weekly Moorpark News-Mirror also were acquired in 1992. Scripps also owned the daily Thousand Oaks News Chronicle Editor & Publisher magazine called Ventura County the "site of one of the hottest newspaper wars in the nation." The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and the Thomson Newspapers group all published competing Ventura County newspapers. The Camarillo Daily News stopped publishing in December 1993. The competing Thomson Oxnard Press-Courier last published on June 14, 1994. The Thomson weekly newspapers, the Camarillo Sun and Ventura Sun, also ceased publication. The Santa Paula Chronicle also ended publication.
The paper dropped the Free-Press part of the name in November 1994.
Scripps spun out its newspapers to Journal Media Group in April 2015, and Gannett acquired the Journal newspapers in April 2016. Daily circulation was reported to be around 45,700 and its Sunday circulation at 58,600.
After more than 10 years at the 550 Camarillo Center Drive location, the Ventura County Star announced in May 2018 that they were moving to a new office on East Daily Drive in Camarillo.
From 1960 to 1987, the editor was Julius Gius. Later, George Cogswell III was the publisher for five years, leaving in 2012 to be publisher and chief revenue officer of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee. followed by Shanna Cannon. As of October 2016, the president is Mark J. Winkler.
In December 2008, Judge Ken Riley ordered the Ventura County Star not to print the content of an affidavit, which the public defender representing defendant Calvin Sharp claimed could prejudice potential jurors. Although unenforceable under the First Amendment by Judge Riley's own admission, he refused to lift the order. This gag order was lifted by Judge Riley by December 15, 2008. A redacted copy of that affidavit was made available on the Ventura County Star web site. Judge Riley would step down in January 2009. Sharp's arraignment was delayed until March 2009. Sharp was sentenced to life in prison in 2012.
The Ventura County Star has faced many complaints that involved its circulation practices rather than its editorial content. As of April 2, 2011, the Better Business Bureau listed ten (10) separate "significant" complaints from the previous three years, of which two alleged the company made unauthorized debits from the customers' checking accounts, four alleged problems obtaining refunds, two alleged the company harassed a customer or former customer, two alleged improper billing, and two alleged delivery continued after customers tried to cancel. (The number of allegations does not add to the total number of complaints because two of the complaints made multiple allegations.)