The Island Gazette is located at 1003 Bennet Lane Suite F in Carolina Beach. They can be reached by calling (910)458-8156 or via email at Follow the Island Gazette online at or follow them on Facebook! The Island Gazette is located at 1003 Bennet Lane Suite F in Carolina Beach. They can be reached by calling (910)458-8156 or via email at Follow the Island Gazette online at or follow them on Facebook!

Spotlight On Business: Island Gazette Celebrates 40 Years

By / Spotlight On Business / Wednesday, 07 March 2018 02:38

The Island Gazette Newspaper has been bringing the news to the people of Pleasure Island since February of 1978.  With the people’s best interests at heart, the newspaper covers the area’s top stories from hurricanes and politics to charity events and festivals.  The paper is published and delivered every Wednesday rain or shine; it has become a staple that many people depend on to keep them up to date on the major events and daily life of the island.  The paper has become the single most important source of information for homeowners who live locally, as well as, out of town or even out of state. With a circulation of over 10,000, the paper reaches many all over the country with both the hard copies and the much visited website
Over the years the paper has been delivering the local news, it has experienced considerable growth and underwent many changes.  During that time many different people have been employed at the Island Gazette to ensure that the news is delivered on a weekly basis.  However, the one thing that has never changed about the Island Gazette is that it is a family run business and the McKee family has spent countless hours pouring over each edition that is published.  From the beginning until the current time, the McKee family has always been there for the people of Pleasure Island to report the news and uncover the truth.
The Island Gazette Newspaper has come a long way since its origination in 1978.  Beattie and Roger McKee have been the beacons paving the way for the Island Gazette from its early years.  Together they established the paper and built its reputation.  Roger McKee first moved to Pleasure Island in 1973 from Chicago, Illinois.  He and his family used to vacation in the area and decided to relocate permanently.  “My parents Lee and Arthur McKee came first and I followed,” said Roger McKee. 
Roger and Beattie Anderson McKee were married in 1974 at which time Beattie moved to the island.  By 1975, the Pleasure Island Magazine was more than just a dream it was a reality with the McKee’s behind the wheel, printing from the garage of their home located on Hamlet Avenue.  Beattie Anderson McKee put her artistic abilities to work and designed and drew the covers, the ads, and all of the artwork contained inside, as well as, much more.  By 1978, the magazine now named the Carolina Coast had evolved into a much-needed newspaper and the Island Gazette was born.    
Ryan McKee and Shawn McKee, the two sons of Roger and Beattie McKee grew up helping the family deliver newspapers to area businesses and spending time in the office. 
The late Ryan McKee the oldest son of Beattie and Roger McKee was born just four months before the first edition of the Island Gazette was printed. In an earlier report on our 30th Anniversary Ryan reflected on some of his earliest memories of delivering newspapers as a little boy.  He recalled that in 1983 at the age of 7, he officially began working in the family business.  “I delivered newspapers in the summer,” explained Ryan.  Ryan McKee was born and raised in Carolina Beach, and in October 2008 his life was cut short after a car accident. 
Shawn McKee, the youngest son of Beattie and Roger McKee, recalls, “I delivered newspapers since I was old enough to walk!”  In 1998, Shawn began working at the Island Gazette.  His first official job was to clean the office.  This proved to be a very enlightening adventure for him and sparked his passion for the newspaper business.  “This was a wonderful experience having the opportunity to work with my father, my mother, my grandmother, the late Sheila Davis, and Mr. Shawn Underwood.  After a while Shawn McKee became Shawn Underwood’s “loyal apprentice.”  “Shawn Underwood taught me how to set press release’s, write, and handle customers.  Shawn encouraged me to attend some Creative Writing classes at Cape Fear Community College.  After completing some classes, I began writing various stories for the paper: Spotlights, Business stories, and mainly Sports stories.  I began the Area Sports section.”  Shawn took over the Advertising Department in 2002 and brought many new ideas to the paper including: the Youth Profile, People of Pleasure Island, Realtor of the Week, and the Area Business Section.  “When Willard Killough joined the staff in 2002, I was able to learn new techniques on the computer that enabled me to build quality ads,” explained Shawn.
Currently Shawn McKee assists the Publisher, is in charge of the layout for all of the ads, as well as, the layout for all of the stories in the both the “B” and “C” sections.  In addition, he still delivers papers every Wednesday, designs ads, writes Youth Sports stories, takes photographs, and lays out the yearly supplements. 
Shawn McKee was born and raised in Carolina Beach.  He is a true local who loves the area and the people who live on Pleasure Island.  “I participated in Pleasure Island Youth Basketball and Baseball as a child and ran for the Cape Fear Flyers Junior Olympic Track Club.  Thanks to the Cape Fear Flyers, I was able to travel the state, as well as, the country from California to Pennsylvania.  On the High School level, I was able to win the Conference Championship for the 2-mile as a freshman for the Hoggard Vikings.  After high school, I began working at the Island Gazette to join the long line of McKee’s to work at the paper,” explained Shawn.
Jasmine McKee is the wife of Shawn McKee; she first came to the Wilmington area in 1997 when she was 17.  “I loved Carolina Beach the minute I saw it.  I loved the people, and the community feel.  If someone is sick or family has fallen on hard times, people around here care enough to pull together to take care of their own.  People know your name and care enough to ask how you are and even hold the door open for you,” said Jasmine.
In 2002, Jasmine began working full-time with photography, graphic design, and classified layout.  Jasmine does a little bit of everything when it comes to the Island Gazette.  “I don’t think most of us have a real ‘position’ here, everybody does what needs to be done to get finished every week.  Titles just aren’t that important here,” said Jasmine.  But whenever anybody has a question, we all turn to Jasmine for the answer. 
“I love working at the paper, I have never had a job where I actually like coming to work.  Working with family can sometimes have its curveballs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  We have a great sense of pride here in that everyone cares about their job.  We all live here and want our community to be the best it can and I think that shows every week when the paper comes out. “  . 
Willard H. Killough III first joined the Island Gazette staff in January of 2000.  Initially he worked part-time with photography and website management.  A little over a year later Killough became a full-time employee and joined the Island Gazette as the Managing Editor.  “It was an unexpected career change, which I thoroughly enjoy,” said Killough.  As the Managing Editor, he manages the website, covers hard news, crime, and politics. “I like working with the people on a daily basis.  I am constantly confronted with different news stories and situations; it is alive and active each day.  Everyday is a learning experience as I observe the human condition playing itself out in different ways,” commented Killough about his position at the Island Gazette. 
Willard H. Killough, III was born and raised in Charlotte, NC.  He first came to Pleasure Island in the early 90’s due to family connections in the area.  Since that time he has witnessed many changes on the island.  “It is not the same town I first rode into in the 90’s, it has definitely improved,” said Killough. The Island Gazette is located at 1003 Bennet Lane Suite F in Carolina Beach. They can be reached by calling (910)458-8156 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Follow the Island Gazette online at  or follow them on Facebook!


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