In the spirit of ... well, in the spirit of Al Roker, who immediately comes to mind ... Robin Roberts announced on "GMA" a little while ago that she too will take the plunge into the independent production world, as a producer — even noting that she will create a reality pilot with her fashion stylist, Diandre.
(Finding out which shows — other than "In the Game with Robin Roberts," which the new company will oversee, and which will remain with ESPN — she will star in. Roberts did not elaborate.)
Per "GMA," which just released further details about her new production company:
The independent production company will create original broadcast and digital programming for ABC and other networks, ranging from informational shows and documentaries, to lifestyle reality series and live special events. The company’s projects currently in production include a news-driven documentary, a digital series for espnW, a Thanksgiving themed special for ABC and two reality show pilots. Roberts will continue to co-anchor “GMA” while overseeing the company.
Roberts is a big star for ABC News — in fact, inarguably its biggest star, who rode "GMA" to the top after decades of futility. What Robin wants, Robin gets (although she did, graciously as always, thank the battery of top Disney execs who also made this possible). Production companies are more than just another nice bauble for big stars — like, say, a shiny new Gulfstream; they are potentially big businesses (ask Oprah) that can yield branded programming, which in turn makes more money for all concerned. (Roker's Al Roker Entertainment has been around for years.)
The company has been christened "Rock'n Robin Productions," and — yes — has a website, which just went live.
Roberts last year signed a huge new deal with ABC — lots of rumored figures on salary, but rather than repost those, you may reliably guess that she will be well-compensated. This was clearly part of the overall deal, and if it's successful, could be an important part of the next chapter for Roberts.