The Vineyard Gazette will welcome a new editor in July when Brian P. Boyd succeeds Julia Wells, who is retiring after 18 years as newsroom leader.

Mr. Boyd, 53, joins the Gazette from Shore Publishing on the Connecticut coast, where he is editor in charge of seven weekly newspapers, associated websites and more than a dozen specialty publications. A graduate of Yale University, he joined Shore in 2000 as a reporter and photographer and quickly took on management responsibilities, adding two titles and overseeing the launch of the company’s first website.

Ms. Wells, 70, is stepping down after four decades of covering the news, interviewing newsmakers and charting the social, environmental and cultural changes that have shaped the Island. By the time she joined the Gazette in 1984, she had already cut her teeth as the Vineyard reporter for the New Bedford Standard Times and the Cape Cod Times. She rose to senior reporter of the Gazette before being named editor in 2004 by then-publisher Richard Reston.

She was named to the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2020.

“No one can match Julie’s knowledge of and devotion to the Vineyard, but in Brian we’ve found someone who is equally passionate about community journalism,” said Jane Seagrave, publisher of the Gazette. “His experience covering 13 very different New England towns has remarkable parallels, and he brings a native curiosity, a love of nature and a commitment to the highest standards of news reporting.”

At Shore Publishing, Mr. Boyd directs a staff of 23 reporters and freelance writers, and has been involved in developing new media applications, hosting events and moderating discussions and setting editorial standards.

At the Gazette, he will join an experienced editing team, including Bill Eville, managing editor, Stephen Durkee, director of graphics and design, and Elizabeth Bennett, community editor.

“The Gazette has earned a reputation for integrity and excellence across the news industry, and I’m delighted that I get to be a part of it,” Mr. Boyd said. “Two things about this opportunity stand out. First, so many different communities of people deeply identify the Vineyard as their home, and that makes it is a fascinating and important place to cover. I’m also drawn by the prospect of working with the Gazette’s amazing team of editors, writers and contributors to tell these stories.”

Mr. Boyd serves on the board of directors of the Valley Shore YMCA. He previously served on the board of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and was a founding member of the Deep River Farmer’s Market.

His interests include hiking, pizza-making, gardening and designing and building guitars.

He and his wife, Marisa, a communications professional and former journalist, will live in Edgartown. They have a dog, Oliver, and a cat, Roger.

Ms. Wells, who lives in West Tisbury, will continue to write for the Gazette as a contributor and will retain a place on the masthead as editor emeritus.

“It’s been a privilege and so much fun to have been part of a newspaper for the last 38 years that holds the highest standards for excellence, and it’s an honor to hand the reins to Brian,” Ms. Wells said. “This is the start of an exciting new chapter at the Gazette — the paper that I love — and also for me personally, on the Island that I love. Those two things have always been intertwined.”

Mr. Boyd begins work on July 11. An open house to honor Ms. Wells and welcome Mr. Boyd is planned for late July.