HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - The executive editor of The Island Packet of Hilton Head and The Beaufort Gazette is retiring after 42 years in the newspaper business.

The Island Packet reports a search is underway for Fitz McAden's replacement. McAden started his career as a reporter for The Miami Herald and was working as news editor for The (Columbia) State in 1995 when the Island Packet hired him. He also became executive editor of The Beaufort Gazette in 2008 when the papers combined news staff.

McAden, who turns 65 next week, says he pushed to do stories that brought change and made a difference in the community. He wanted the newspapers to be watchdogs, like when The Island Packet exposed how the muck dredged from a local marina project was being dumped into a nearby sound instead of the sea.