Champion joins 'Morning' crew

“Good Morning America” has named WABC-TV’s Sam Champion as its weatherman in a move that completes the on-air staff of the ayem show.

Champion, long rumored to be ABC’s first-choice successor to Tony Perkins, starts on Sept. 5, along with newly appointed news anchor Chris Cuomo.

Perkins left “GMA” for WTTG Washington, D.C., last fall.

In addition to his role as weatherman on “GMA,” Champion becomes weather editor for ABC News, heading up a beat the network expects to grow in significance as tropical storms grow in strength and frequency.

“What’s got me excited about the topic is it’s hugely important to the national audience,” Champion said. “Weather is making more headlines and getting more dramatic.”

In addition to weather, Champion will contribute features on the environment and weather-related issues to “GMA.”

Appointment completes the show’s four-member cast as it prepares to do battle with NBC’s “Today” in September.

Champion is a longtime substitute at “GMA,” having worked across the street at WABC for 18 years. He has been a stand-in on “Live With Regis and Kelly” and on “Larry King Live.”

Also at ABC News, Chris Sheridan was named exec producer of weekend news content, a job that encompasses the Saturday and Sunday evening newscast, as well as ABC News Now and ABCNews.com.

Sheridan had been exec producer of ABC’s overnight news programs.

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