The newspaper calls itself "Your window to Madison County, Ohio, since 1842", but the Library of Congress records its predecessor, the weekly London Sentinel, beginning a year later in 1843. The Sentinel went through several name changes (Madison Reveille, Madison Chronicle, Madison County Union, The London Times) before taking the name The Madison Press in 1917, and adopting a daily publication schedule May 4, 1961.
Later, the Press was the flagship of the Central Ohio Printing chain of newspapers, which also included the weeklies Mechanicsburg Telegram, Mount Sterling Tribune, Plain City Advocate and Weekly Review. This chain was sold to Brown Publishing Company, a family-owned business based in Cincinnati, in 2004.
Brown Publishing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 30, 2010; its Ohio assets, including 14 daily newspapers and about 30 weeklies, were transferred to a new business, Ohio Community Media, which was purchased in May 2011 by Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management.