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It 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 was founded in 1875), and began publishing as the Ventura County Star-Free Press in 1938. It dropped the Free-Press addition in November 1994.
As of April 2, 2011, the current publisher was George Cogswell III. He was the publisher for five years, leaving in 2012 to be publisher and chief revenue officer of The Commercial Appeal, in Memphis, TN.
He was succeeded by Margie Cochrane in 2012.
As of October, 2016 the current president is Mark J. Winkler. , succeeding former publisher Shanna Cannon.
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 unauthorized debits from the customers' checking accounts, four alleged problems obtaining refunds, two alleged the company harassed a customer or former customer, two alleged the 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.)
In 2008, Judge Ken Riley ordered the Ventura County Star not to print the content of an affidavit that the public defender representing defendant Calvin Sharp claimed could prejudice potential jurors. This "gag" order is no longer in effect, and a redacted copy of that affidavit is now online.