KCTS President Moss Bresnahan resigns, citing family issues

Moss Bresnahan, president of KCTS Television in Seattle, resigned Thursday. “My reasons for making this very difficult decision are deeply personal — to attend to family-related issues that have arisen,” Bresnahan said in a note to public television managers. “I’m so proud of our many accomplishments to date, and I know that KCTS is poised for even greater things in the coming year,” he told the execs. Prior to his arrival in Seattle in November 2008, Bresnahan served as president of South Carolina ETV and WVPT in Harrisonburg, Va. He also spent six years as a board member of the International Public Television Screening Conference (INPUT) .

Wits introduces social club in advance of fourth-season launch

American Public Media’s Wits is introducing a “Social Club” for fans as producers prepare to launch the show’s fall season. For $35, fans become members for the fall 2013 and spring 2014 seasons and gain early access to tickets for live performances of the variety show, hosted by John Moe and recorded in St. Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater. They also receive a 10-percent discount on up to four tickets per show and other perks. “Social media has been embedded into Wits’s DNA, so a social club seemed like a natural fit,” APM spokesperson Tara Schlosser told Current.

Co-founder Shapiro announces departure from Third Coast

Julie Shapiro, artistic director and co-founder of the Chicago-based Third Coast International Audio Festival, will leave the multiplatform curator of audio storytelling in November. “I thought long and hard (and then longer, and harder) about this,” Shapiro wrote in today’s announcement, “but ultimately realized it’s time to move on and try something different with the next phase of my life.” Shapiro and Johanna Zorn, e.d., founded Third Coast in 2000; its biennial “filmless festival” draws thousands of audiophiles. Shapiro came up with the concept for Third Coast’s popular ShortDocs Challenge, which asks participants to make mini-documentaries while following quirky rules such as using a color in the documentary’s title or including three seconds of “narrative silence.” The organization also hosts a conference for audio producers in the festival’s off-years and produces a weekly podcast and radio program.

Upcoming season brings more Downton Abbey merchandise

The fourth season of Downton Abbey, launching in January on Masterpiece, will bring an influx of related merchandise. Soon fans will be able to create a quilt with Downton fabric, drape themselves in Downton jewelry, deck their halls with Downton Christmas ornaments and toast their favorite program with Downton wine as products roll out in anticipation of the premiere. “Our licensing program includes a two-pronged approach,” said Carole Postal, a co-president of Knockout Licensing in New York City, which is managing Downton product licensing in the U.S. and Canada. “Aspirational products are for those who love the elegant period look and feel of the show, and fan-based products are for those who want to show and share their enthusiasm for the characters, the writing and everything else about the series.”

Carnival Films, part of NBCUniversal, owns the intellectual-property rights to the Edwardian costume drama, which has been a huge ratings and critical hit for PBS. Executive Producer Gareth Neame told The Associated Press that Downton merchandise has been rolling out slowly.

Tardif of WGCU to chair Radio Television Digital News Association

Amy Tardif, news director of dual licensee WGCU in Fort Myers, Fla., is the first woman in pubradio to chair the Radio Television Digital News Association, reports the local News-Press. The RTDNA named Tardif  chair-elect Monday at its annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif. She’ll lead next year’s conference in Nashville, Tenn. The association represents journalists in broadcasting, cable and digital media in more than 30 countries. Tardif previously served as an RTDNA regional director.

NFL concussion documentary to air in one two-hour presentation

PBS is shifting the scheduling of Frontline’s upcoming League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis to a one-evening presentation. The documentary, which has been in the news since ESPN dropped out of its reporting partnership with Frontline last week, will now air from 9 to 11 p.m. Oct. 8. It had originally been set to run as two one-hour episodes on Oct. 8 and 15.