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Originally published Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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KCTS-TV General Manager Richard Warsinske resigns

Richard "Dick" Warsinske, who has been local PBS station KCTS-TV's general manager and vice president of operations for the past 15 months...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Richard "Dick" Warsinske, who has been local PBS station KCTS-TV's general manager and vice president of operations for the past 15 months, is no longer with the station, KCTS spokeswoman Karen Fujii has confirmed.

His resignation last Thursday was effective immediately, she said.

At KCTS, the largest public-television station in the Pacific Northwest, Warsinske, 57, had been in charge of programming and production, engineering, corporate development and the Web, reporting to KCTS CEO Bill Mohler.

Fujii did not disclose reasons for the resignation. She said to her knowledge Warsinske was not asked to resign, nor was he fired. Warsinske could not be reached for comment.

In a statement, CEO Mohler said: "During Dick's tenure at KCTS9, we achieved numerous goals in broadcasting, technology and outreach, thanks to his leadership. His commitment to local television made a positive impact in our community."

According to the station's Web's site, Mohler has announced his intention to retire as CEO by the end of this year.

The station's board of directors has formed a search committee and retained an international search firm, Spencer Stuart, to recruit a new station chief.

Before joining KCTS in May 2007, Warsinske was general manager of local ABC affiliate KOMO-TV for 14 years and also was senior vice president there. He also had worked at KING-TV, the local NBC affiliate.

At KCTS, Warsinske replaced Randy Brinson, who had been with the station since 2003 and stepped aside to be executive director of content development. Brinson still holds that post.

KCTS claims a weekly audience of 2.5 million in Washington and British Columbia, and also owns KYVE-TV in Yakima.

When he was named to the general manager's post, station management said Warsinske's principal focus would be to develop the infrastructure and means to take KCTS into the next era of content development and delivery in the markets it serves in Washington and British Columbia.

During his tenure, the station's Ken Burns series, "The War," on World War II was No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings for its time period, and the series raised the most dollars from individual donors of any PBS station, Fujii said.

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Under Warsinske's leadership at KOMO, the station earned the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in local-television programming, and KOMO 4 News was awarded the Edward R. Murrow award for best large-market newscast.

Warsinske also was credited with helping KOMO become a leader in the adoption of new technologies for content delivery and the first commercial-broadcast station on the West Coast to transmit in digital high-definition television.

Charles E. Brown: 206-464-2206 or cbrown@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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