Ventura County Star
Ventura County Star's former headquarters (before May 2018)
TypeDaily newspaper
Founded1925; 99 years ago (1925)
Headquarters771 E. Daily Dr
Camarillo, California

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.

History and ownership

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.

1990s Ventura County "Newspaper Wars"

E. W. Scripps purchased the Camarillo Daily News in 1992 from Harris Enterprises.[1] The daily Simi Valley Enterprise and the weekly Moorpark News-Mirror also were acquired in 1992.[1] Scripps also owned the daily Thousand Oaks News Chronicle[1] Editor & Publisher magazine called Ventura County the "site of one of the hottest newspaper wars in the nation."[1] The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and the Thomson Newspapers group all published competing Ventura County newspapers.[1] The Camarillo Daily News stopped publishing in December 1993.[1] The competing Thomson Oxnard Press-Courier last published on June 14, 1994.[2] The Thomson weekly newspapers, the Camarillo Sun and Ventura Sun, also ceased publication.[2] The Santa Paula Chronicle also ended publication.[2]

The paper dropped the Free-Press part of the name in November 1994.[3]

2015 spinoff

Scripps spun out its newspapers to Journal Media Group in April 2015,[4] and Gannett acquired the Journal newspapers in April 2016.[5] Daily circulation was reported to be around 45,700 and its Sunday circulation at 58,600.[5]

2018 Office move in Camarillo

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.[6]


From 1960 to 1987, the editor was Julius Gius.[7] 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.[8][9][10][11] followed by Shanna Cannon.[12] As of October 2016, the president is Mark J. Winkler.[13]


Calvin Sharp murder case gag order

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.[14] Although unenforceable under the First Amendment by Judge Riley's own admission, he refused to lift the order.[15] This gag order was lifted by Judge Riley by December 15, 2008.[16][17] A redacted copy of that affidavit was made available on the Ventura County Star web site.[18] Judge Riley would step down in January 2009.[19] Sharp's arraignment was delayed until March 2009.[20] Sharp was sentenced to life in prison in 2012.[20][21]

2011 circulation practices

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.[22] (The number of allegations does not add to the total number of complaints because two of the complaints made multiple allegations.)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Saillant, Kay - Camarillo Daily News to Close in December : Media: The 67-year-old publication will be replaced with a zoned version of the Ventura County Star-Free Press. Los Angeles Times, November 12, 1993
  2. ^ a b c Stein, M.L. - California Daily Closes. Two weeklies also closed, were part of the Thomson newspaper chain. Editor and Publisher Magazine, June 25, 1994
  3. ^ Saillant, Kay (November 18, 1994). "Chain's Daily Papers to Get Name Change". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Gores, Paul (April 1, 2015). "Journal, Scripps merger creates two closely aligned media companies". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Staff (April 8, 2016). "Gannett buys Ventura County Star". Pacific Coast Business Times. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  6. ^ Note to readers: The Star is moving to a new office in Camarillo. Ventura County Star, May 26, 2018
  7. ^ Pioneering Newspaper Editor Julius Gius Dies at Age 84, Los Angeles Times, October 19, 1996
  8. ^ BBB Business Review of Ventura County Star Archived May 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Better Business Bureau of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, Inc.
  9. ^ Star publisher Cogswell named publisher of Memphis newspaper, Ventura County Star, June 21, 2012
  10. ^ "Scripps announces new publisher of the Ventura County Star". Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  11. ^ Star's new publisher is longtime advertising executive, Ventura County Star, August 13, 2012
  12. ^ "New publisher named for the Ventura County Star". Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "Ventura County Star names Mark Winkler new president". Ventura County Star. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  14. ^ Hadly, Scott - Judge Blocks Murder Case Story, Ventura County Star, December 11, 2008. Riley orders The Star not to publish sealed facts from Sharp documents
  15. ^ Egelco, Bob - Judge won't lift order he says is unenforceable. San Francisco Chronicle December 16, 2008
  16. ^ Judge lifts gag order in Sharp case, Ventura County Star, December 15, 2008
  17. ^ Why The Star is publishing, free press overrides all. Ventura County Star (CA) - December 16, 2008
  18. ^ ref link at the time at Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine "Affidavit in Support of Search Warrant, 397-07" Ventura County Star, December 2008
  19. ^ Hernandez, Raul - County Judge Steps Down After 20 Years. Ventura County Star, January 14, 2009
  20. ^ a b Lohr, David - Calvin Sharp Sentenced To Life For Fatal Cleaver Attack On 6-Year-Old Sev’n Molina Huffington Post, December 6, 2012
  21. ^ People vs. Calvin Sharp. Ventura County District Attorney, Judge finds killer who used meat cleaver sane and sentences him to multiple life terms
  22. ^ "Significant Complaints" Archived September 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Better Business Bureau of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, Inc.