The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post's Edward Sears, Editor & Publisher's 2004 Editor of the Year, will retire Jan. 31. Sears has served as editor of the West Palm Beach daily since 1985.

As editor, Sears has expanded the newspaper's staff, grown its circulation numbers, and has overseen the creation of its Web site and its Spanish-language publication, La Palma.

Sears, whom the staff commonly calls "Eddie," told E&P Wednesday that now is "a perfect time" to retire. "I'm 60, I have great people in the newsroom, and I've been doing this stuff for 35 years."

Besides, he added, "The wife wants to travel, and so do I."

A Fort Lauderdale native, Sears went to work for the former Atlanta Journal in 1970 as make-up editor. He worked as a reporter and in editorial positions for that newspaper and the former Atlanta Constitution, and later became managing editor of both papers.

In 1985, he received the offer to return to his home state for a position he described as "the best job in the world." Before the Post came knocking, Sears added, "I never thought I'd get back to Florida. God has a way of bringing wonderful things."

John Bartosek, who has served as managing editor since 2000, succeeds Sears as editor. Known to the newsroom staff as "J-Bart," Bartosek came to the Post in 1986 as news editor, from The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

Deputy Managing Editor Bill Rose replaces Bartosek as managing editor. Rose has served as metro editor since 1999.

Tim Burke has been promoted to deputy managing editor, from executive sports editor. Nick Moschella, who most recently was deputy sports editor, replaces Burke as executive sports editor.