Santa Maria Times
TypeDaily (Tuesday-Sunday)
Owner(s)Santa Maria California News Media Inc.
PublisherTerri Leifeste
EditorMarga K. Cooley
FoundedApril 1882
Circulation21,579 (2018)[1]
Sister newspapersLompoc Record, Santa Ynez Valley News

The Santa Maria Times is a daily American newspaper on California's Central Coast serving the cities of Santa Maria; Orcutt; Guadalupe; Nipomo; unincorporated parts of northern Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo County.[2] It is published Tuesday through Saturday, and is part of Santa Maria California News Media Inc., which also publishes the Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News, among other newspapers.[3]


The Santa Maria Times was established in April 1882.[4][5][6] In 1918, the paper became a daily.[7]

Owner E.L. Petersen sold the paper in 1938 to Robert and Stanworth Hancock, who in turn sold the paper to Kansas-based Stauffer Communications in 1948.[8][9] In 1947 the paper bought up the Santa Maria Vidette, Guadalupe Gazette, and Santa Maria Courier, and later the Santa Maria Advertiser Burl Hagagone bought the paper in 1958.[10] The paper had been owned by Pulitzer, Inc. at the time of the company's acquisition by Lee Enterprises in 2005.[3]

In 2016, the Santa Maria Times won first place in the General Excellence category in its division of California's Better Newspapers Contest. In 2018, the Santa Maria Times received First Place CNPA Online General Excellence and received a 2018 Lee President's Award for its yearlong series "Green Rush in the 805?", and in 2019 received a President's Award honorable mention by parent company Lee Enterprises for the newspaper’s in-depth series "Wildfire County: Planning for the next big blaze".[11]

In November 2019, Davis Taylor became Regional Publisher [12] Marga K. Cooley has been the Managing Editor since 2013. [13] In March 2020, the paper was sold to Santa Maria California News Media Inc. a newly formed company led by a group of Canadian newspaper executives. Terri Leifeste became Vice President/Group Publisher.[3] In April 2022, the Santa Maria Times celebrated its 140th anniversary.


  1. ^ American Newspaper Representatives data (2018)
  2. ^ Stevenson, Paula. "Research Newspapers by State: California" (PDF). American Newspaper Representatives. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Report, Santa Maria Times Staff. "Lee Enterprises sells papers in Santa Maria, Hanford". Santa Maria Times. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  4. ^ Storke, Yda Addis.A Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura, California, pp. 517-18 (1891)
  5. ^ (31 March 2019). Important dates in April from 1882 to 2006, Santa Maria Times
  6. ^ "About Santa Maria semi-weekly times". Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ (1 July 2012). ‘The Gazette’ was SB county’s first newspaper, Santa Maria Times
  8. ^ (27 March 1948). Kansan Purchases Santa Maria Times, Los Angeles Times
  9. ^ "New Newspaper Plant". The Los Angeles Times. 19 Jun 1955.
  10. ^ (13 November 19170. history, Santa Maria Times
  11. ^ "Better Newspapers Contest winners announced". California News Publishers Association. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Davis Taylor to lead Santa Maria Times, Lee operations in Santa Barbara County".
  13. ^ "Santa Maria Times". USNPL. Retrieved 19 October 2018.