Oakland-based Family Communications – the non-profit which Fred Rogers founded in 1971 – will become The Fred Rogers Company in 2010. The name change comes as a board of directors initiative to honor the founder of the company. The idea behind the change came as the company is actively make new television programs with the same style and approach that Rogers himself would have used. “If we’re going to have this company putting new things on television that embody Fred’s approach and his name would not be in the credits otherwise, it was important to a number of board members to say, ‘This is who we are.’ You immediately know when you have that name on there who you are,” FCI COO Kevin Morrison told the Post-Gazette.

While on the topic of Mister Rogers… More than 5000 people toured the studio in November for the opportunity to walk through The Neighborhood (please stop calling it “land”) of Make-Believe. The statistics show that people travelled from 71 cities, 10 states and 4 countries. Assuming that funding can be secured for such an event, plans are in the works to have a spring open house for which the interior set pieces of Rogers’ play house would be reconstructed.