About Us


Our History
The first Clear Lake newspaper was the Independent, established by Silas Noyes and John M. Brainard. The first issue bore the date, February 10, 1860. Its publication was continued for about a year, when it was moved to Hancock Country. The Observer was then established in 1869. George E. Frost was the first proprietor of the Observer. After two years of editorship he sold the office to Judge M.P. Rosecrans who made the paper entirely independent, in tone and sentiment, where before it had been strongly republican. Mr. Rosecrans soon sold the office to parties in Belmond. Mr. Frost then purchased a new outfit and for 6 or 7 years was the editor. In 1879 he sold to Mr. Bush who changed the name to the Clear Lake Mirror. 
In April 1896, J.C. Davenport established another weekly paper here which he called the Clear Lake Reporter. These two weekly newspapers combined under one ownership with the Reporter buying the Mirror in 1951. They operated as twin weeklies with the Mirror published on Tuesdays and the Reporter on Fridays until January 1955 when the two joined together to become the Mirror and Reporter. The Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter has been under current ownership since 1983 when a corporation was formed as Prefin, Inc. The team of Dave Presler and Michael Finnegan comprised the business which also owned other area newspapers. Presler moved on from the company and focus was placed to ownership of the Clear Lake paper by Finnegan, selling off the other newspapers and concentrating all his efforts into the newspaper as it currently stands. Below is the staff of the Mirror-Reporter which is now a weekly, publishing on Wednesdays.

Our Staff

Michael J. Finnegan - Owner/Publisher 

 As well as Owner/Publisher of the Mirror Reporter Mr. Finnegan is also the President of Prefin Inc. which purchased the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter in 1983. Finnegan, a native of Charles City, Iowa received his AA Degree from North Iowa Area Community College in 1971 and a BA degree in Journalism from Iowa State University in 1973.

Marianne Morf - Editor 

Marianne Morf joined the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter as editor when Prefin acquired the newspaper from Mid-America Publishing Corp. in 1983. She performs a variety of duties, including coverage of city government and school issues, as well as all aspects of the news department. Following graduation from Newman High School in Mason City, she earned a BA degree in Journalism from Iowa State University.



Deb Betz

Classifieds, Billing, Circulation, Obituaries, Legals

Kim Ritter
Kathleen Thul Production Manager, Graphic Design 
Michelle Watson

Opinion, Agri.-Business, Sports, Home Buyers Guide, Production

Chris Barragy Photographer, Graphic Design, Production
Larry Hahn Distribution  


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