Al Roker to Produce Live Streaming Shows for Meerkat

By Mark Joyella 

Al Roker, best known for his role in one of television’s oldest programs, NBC’s Today, hopes to expand his empire by producing programs for one of social media’s newest apps, Meerkat.

“It’s sort of like radio in the 1920’s. Why not take a shot at it?” Roker tells Variety’s Brian Steinberg. “You don’t know where it’s going to go, but I think it’s going to be fun to be the first out there. It’s not like anybody’s going to get hurt.”

Roker’s production company, Al Roker Entertainment, will bring three short five to fifteen minute shows to Meerkat, the mobile app that allows users to watch live streaming video, starting this week:

For its part, Meerkat is seeking more people to develop content ideas using the service, said Sima Sistani, vice president of media for the company. Meerkat sees concepts emerging that “are more informal and raw,” she said, since being live “creates some urgency around the content,” which will be “different” and “participation-led.” Already, said Sistani, a marketing executive named Steve Isaacs is doing a nightly show with his girlfriend in which they sit in their pajamas and offer viewers “the sleepiest recap of the day’s events.” Musicians have also embraced the service, said Sistani.