ARE gets back to work post-COVID

May 2020

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the monthly Al Roker Entertainment newsletter. We’ve been waiting to launch this for a few months now, but due to obvious events, nixed our pre-coronavirus copy and paused long enough to make sure everyone was safe. That being said, we hope everyone is doing well and staying afloat during this coronavirus pandemic.

Al Roker Entertainment Staff

At Al Roker Entertainment, we continue to be busy. And for that, we feel grateful (and lucky). Because we are based in New York City, we recognized quickly that we needed to do our part to slow the spread by shifting to a #WFH dynamic. Though we had many projects in various stages of production, we realized it was essential to take the necessary steps to minimize any excessive contact–communicating via video conferencing and keeping tabs on everyone to make sure our team remains safe. Read more from Al Roker below…

The Give Back from Al Roker Entertainment

For years, Al Roker Entertainment has produced award-winning cause-marketing pieces – whether they target broad issues like sustainability, or more focused causes like child hunger – for non-profits and corporate brands alike. We’ve helped brands build trust, increase exposure and engagement across multiple platforms, and amplify their good deeds and community give back through branded entertainment programming.

Two recent examples…

Northwell Health Side by Side
Firemen in New York

Continuing in our commitment to first-responders, Al Roker Entertainment recently produced a one-hour docu-style TV special honoring healthcare and military heroes serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. The Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ TV-special aired this past Memorial Day on NBC4 New York. Click here to watch the full-length program.

ARE was thrilled to spotlight the life-saving dedication of Northwell Health’s team of medical professionals working tirelessly at the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak in New York.

“Everyday we experienced the heroic actions of the Northwell medical team as they worked around the clock to save and comfort fellow New Yorkers struggling with COVID-19,” commented Amy Feller-Gallant, Executive Producer of East Side Girl Entertainment. “I’m honored we could tell the stories of these amazingly professional Northwell frontline workers and the ongoing group effort they employed to combat the coronavirus.”

Thank You Healthcare from Northwell
American Nurse Heroine

This production has had its challenges due to COVID-19. Our team relied heavily on video conferencing from all various locations across the country, zooming with the production and post teams from San Francisco, Connecticut, all five boroughs of New York City and Philadelphia. We’ve produced from afar ensuring our on-the-ground production teams were safe, mandating a “No Touch” rule for everything from talent releases, and back office support, to the handling of cameras and production assets. Our producers meticulously checked off a daily list of safety protocols that included social distancing, required masks and protective gear for our crews, and daily detailed disinfecting of equipment and clothing. Safety was (and is) our number one priority.

We collaborated on this project with our content marketing partner EMME Solutions, the production team from Human Being Media, and the global marketing and public relations agency, Rogers & Cowan | PMK.

Life Aid Cerner

Over the last several months, Al Roker Entertainment worked with nationally recognized Veteran’s organization, No Vet Alone, a California-based non-profit that works with military veterans and first responders struggling with injuries, depression, and PTSD to tell their stories. ARE also aided in introducing their audience to LifeAid–an outreach component of No Vet Alone–to facilitate the neccessary conversation about what can be done differently to reduce veteran and first-responder suicide.

No Vet Alone uses targeted and personalized mental health treatments focused on suicide prevention – a dire and on-going problem for veterans and first-responders. Our producers developed narratives which highlight how LifeAids’s innovative approach combines cutting-edge research, technology, and non-traditional modalities, with community outreach and engagement.

Life Aid from CernerEMME Solutions partnered with Al Roker Entertainment exclusively to create content for the global healthcare technology company Cerner, the founding sponsor of LifeAid. In the works are a one-hour TV program, eight social video stories, a series of public service announcements, and a corporate video. As a production company well-versed in supporting those who dedicate their lives to public service (Coast Guard Alaska/Florida, Bordertown: Laredo), we are honored to be able to back the esteemed mission of both LifeAid and Cerner.

ARE Producer Rick Angeli explains, “We take a lot of our inspiration from John Wordin, founder and chairman of NoVetAlone. As we created this inspirational content, we realized we were joining a family – being there and listening, and helping each other through the rough times, as we watched in the healing.”

To view more of this important work, visit the LifeAid website. To view the PSA for the LifeAid initiative click here or the image below

In addition to these latest pro-social projects, Al Roker Entertainment has past-produced other cause-marketing stories for brands like Pedigree, Staples, Microsoft, Comcast, Eckrich Meats, ConAgra and others. To view these pieces, visit us here.

Operation Inspiration an NBC special hosted by Al Roker

A special note from Al Roker…

Thanks for taking the time to read our new “In Focus” newsletter. I hope you and your family are safe, physically distant but staying socially close as we don’t know when and how we get back to our normal, or perhaps more fittingly, our new normal.

As you probably know, I’m working from home, anchoring the 3rd Hour of the TODAY Show and forecasting the weather for the other hours of the program. One thing is for sure, I didn’t forecast how we’d need to stretch the boundaries of what it takes to create interesting, compelling, funny, and moving content during a global pandemic. Who knew that Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, and countless other broadcasts would be able to adapt – and in fact thrive – providing much-needed information and yes, comedy and escapism during this all too real global pandemic. Wow, a weather guy admitting to not knowing the forecast! What’s next? People tuning in to watch hunky coastal governors do PowerPoint presentations every day? Yeah, right.

We know what tough time this is for everyone, including our friends in the “business.” So much of television and film is paused, yet we, as TV viewers, still continue to voraciously consume content, watching our favorite shows on broadcast, cable, social, and streaming networks. This is why we’ve remained open at ARE, operating remotely and making a point to institute many safe on-set protocols while working on productions. We know, someday, we’ll return to normal, whatever that may look like.

And when we do remember this: we are constantly looking for the innovators, the disrupters, and the thought leaders who are helping us change the way we produce, view and consume content. Got an idea? Drop me a line. If you do, and we use it, you get a free personalized forecast. Also, let me know what you think of this newsletter and how we can make it better. If there’s someone or something we need to know about reach out to me at

But rest assured that when it is over, there will be many of us who refused to give up our stretchy pants.

Al Roker

P.S. – Need quarantine meal prep ideas? My son Nick and I thought it’d be fun to share what we’re cooking so we started a series called (wait for it) What We’re Cooking! Follow me on Instagram and check out all the episodes on the Al Roker Entertainment YouTube channel.