A Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper

About us

A tradition of pride and community service

John and Art Cullen

The Storm Lake Times published its inaugural issue on Friday, June 29, 1990, with a full-time staff of just three persons in a 20-by-20 foot one-room office at 521 Michigan Street.

Within a year the weekly newspaper rapidly outgrew the tiny office and moved to larger quarters at 210 East Fifth Street, across from the courthouse. The paper’s circulation had increased from an initial 1,800 to nearly 4,000 copies every Friday. At first the paper was printed at Buena Vista Stationery and Printing, but with the growing number of pages and the need for color photographs, printing was moved to the LeMars Daily Sentinel.

In March 1993 The Times began publishing daily, the first in The City Beautiful’s 120-year history. Three weeks later the other newspaper in town also went daily, and for 10 months Storm Lake attracted national attention as the smallest city in America with competing daily newspapers.

Coinciding with The Times’ switch to daily publication was construction of our new office and printing plant at Times Square, which could accommodate our own six-unit Harris offset press.

Heeding the voices of readers who thought there wasn’t enough news for a daily newspaper, The Times switched to twice-weekly publication in January 1994. Several years later our competitor followed our lead and gave up daily publishing as well.

In November 2001, The Times switched from our familiar tabloid format to broadsheet because of increasing pressure within the newspaper industry to standardize page sizes. The move to a larger page was welcomed by readers and advertisers alike.

The Storm Lake Times has always been at the forefront of newspaper technology. We were the first newspaper in Iowa to be composed entirely on computer (called “pagination”), now nearly all are. We were also one of the first newspapers in the state to have an imagesetter, an electronic film machine which allowed us to produce the highest quality type and photographs, both color and black and white.

In 2004 we were the second newspaper in the state (after The Des Moines Register) to adopt computer-to-plate electronic imaging which improved our printing quality even more. In May 2016, The Times shuttered its own press and shifted all printing operations to White Wolf Web in Sheldon.

On April 1, 2022, Storm Lake’s 32-year newspaper war officially came to an end as The Times purchased the Pilot-Tribune and merged the papers to become the Storm Lake Times Pilot. The deal also included the Advertising Guide, a weekly shopper serving Buena Vista County, and printing of the Times Pilot moved to Spencer.

We strive to put out a quality product because we are the only locally-owned newspaper in Buena Vista County and take good old-fashioned pride in our work. No corporate doublespeak here — just two brothers and a dozen employees working hard to support their families. Thank you for your support.

John Cullen | President
Art Cullen | Publisher/Editor