Sam Champion to Leave ‘Good Morning America’ for Weather Channel

Sam Champion, Lara Spencer and Josh

Veteran weather personality to take up managing editor role at cable outlet

Sam Champion, the veteran weatherman at ABC’s “Good Morning America,”  is leaving the post he has held there since 2006, in order to join The Weather Channel as a on-air host and its managing editor.  He will also anchor a new flagship morning program at the cable network starting in 2014.

The new program, which the cable network said will be “a multi-hour” program, is part of a larger “relaunch” effort that began last week. As part of that process, Weather Channel debuted new on-air graphics as well as a new local weather update every eight minutes.  The cable net is owned by a consortium of investors that include NBCUniversal and private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.

The move threatens to shake up the routine at ABC’s flagship morning program, which is enjoying continued wind after toppling NBC’s “Today” in the ratings over a year ago. Aside from viewer interest in co-anchor Robin Roberts ongoing recovery from a bone-marrow transplant to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, another top factor often cited in the program’s rise was viewer comfort with its regulars, including Champion.

In addition to covering the national forecast for ‘GMA,’ Champion frequently traveled to cover weather-related stories around the country, including  reports on  Super Storm Sandy, for which, along with other coveage, ABC News won a coveted Peabody Award. Champion has also covered the devastating tornado in Joplin, MO; wildfires in California; hurricanes in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and the Carolinas; and winter storm systems in Colorado, Denver, Chicago and Boston. He has also reported on teh environment and climate change, and is expected to continue to do so at The Weather Channel.

In a memo to staff issued Monday, ABC News President Ben Sherwood said meteorologist Ginger Zee will assume Champion’s duties on both “Good Morning America” and across ABC News, where she will also assume his role as editor of weather-related content. “As you know, Ginger always rushes straight toward the eye of any storm and weaves cutting-edge science with human emotion to elevate our coverage,” Sherwood said.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to do what I love most at a network that lives and breathes the weather,” Champion said in a prepared statement, calling the decision to leave ABC “extremely difficult.” Including time spent with WABC as an on-air weather personality, he had been with ABC for a quarter of a century. he began his TV career at a local station in Kentucky.

In an intriguing wrinkle, the hire of Champion will put two of the nation’s best-known weather personalities – Champion and his “Today” rival Al Roker, on the same network. Roker currently hosts “Wake Up With Al,” which airs weekdays at 6 a.m. on the cable outlet.

Champion will be based in Atlanta while working for The Weather Channel. His last day at “GMA” will be Wednesday.

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  1. Brandy OShaunessey says:

    I will miss Sam Champion. GMA like all other so called News Stations are a very tiny sliver of any kind of News and only what the Government wants us to know type of News. This is why I and many others no longer watch these “Entertainment” “news” shows anymore. This is WHY you and all other so called “news” shows are losing your audience.

  2. Francisco says:

    I think Ginger gets more involved with the weather and the people around her then He did, Oh and besides she is alot more appealing to the eyes She is a Lovely Lady..Good Luck Sam and Ginger as well

  3. Sally McClatchey says:

    Will miss Sam on GMA but great to see him on the Weather channel which is where we go when weather is threatening… good luck Sam

  4. Mitsu says:

    You will miss I see you part of the family of GMS.best of luck

  5. Julie says:

    I have watched GMA because of Sam. I am glad he is moving up in his professional life, but I am sad to see him
    go. I would suggest Ginger buy some longer dresses!!!

  6. Michael Laman says:

    I really like Sam. I’ll miss his humor and booming laugh! He was warm and genuine. Most of all he cared.
    I wish him great success in the future. GMA just won’t be the same without him. Ginger Zee is lovely and
    excellent. She will do fine in her new role. For now Sam you were the BEST!

  7. Sue Barson says:

    Wishing Sam good luck with his new adventure with the Weather Channel.However I will miss him so much on GMA .I wake up to watch it everyday .Sam has a great smile and laugh and can brighten anyone’s day. Thank you for all the
    years of weather . I will watch the Weather Channel now !!!

  8. Juanita Daniels says:

    Sam good luck on your new journey. You will be missed. I also love the weather channel which is luckie to have you. So once again good luck

  9. I will miss Sam Champion’s weather reporting, charming smile, personality, his sincere niceness, and -most of all- his genuine laughter. I wish him the bery best of luck in his new venture. I hope that GMA can fill his shoes, it will be a difficult task as he was such an important member of the Good Morning America group that starts each of my days for many, many years.

  10. layla says:

    Sam ur the best wish u all the blast 4 ever I idmire u so much and gonna miss you!!

  11. Noreen P. says:

    Sam, you have been in my home every weekday morining, while I have my coffee and get ready for work. I will miss you my friend! Best of luck in your new exciting job! I bet you will not miss the New York winters.

  12. Sarah Macauley says:

    Sam I have enjoyed watching you since your first day on ABC and the almost heart attacks doing all those dangerous stunts boy am I gonna miss you Good Luck with your new job I wish you every success
    Love Sarah😞😞😞😞😞

  13. dawn says:

    Omg Sam I love u you always put a smile on my face in the morning when I watch gma. You are awesome!!!! Good luck Sam

  14. Silvia Medford says:

    OMG I wake up every morning to. GMA and when I heard Sam was leaving my heart was crush what am I going to do.I’m not going to hear that laugh any more and see that handsome face Iove you and you will be greatly MISS!!!!!

  15. Ann Labat says:

    Hello I am from Pass Christian, and have enjoyed Sam on GMA, would like to wish you Good Luck and Best wishes, in your new era of life, we Love you dearly and will truely Miss you

  16. linlar24@comcast.net says:

    Everyone will miss you dearly!! I am soooo sad I will not hear that wonderful laugh you have… I only wish you best of luck in your new endeavors! You will be missed! Thank you for many years of weather and laughter!

  17. ruth connell says:

    You’re the reason I watch GMA! I will miss your laugh, quick wit and ever light entertaining personality. Best to you in all of your endeavors! Will be watching you on weather channel now :).

  18. Susan,Madison,and Haley Hogan says:

    GOOD LUCK AND HAVE A GOOD TME DOING YOUR JOB. WE MISS YOU ON GOOD MORNING AMERCIA SHOW. WE LOVE YOU. I HAVE ENJOY WATCHING YOU EVERY MORNING DO THE THING THAT YOU DO.I ALSO ENJOY WATCHING YOUR SHOW SEA RESCUE.

  19. Jun wagner says:

    SAM LEAVING….YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…..

  20. Conggratulations to Sam. I have been watching the show for years. However, he must “brush up” on Indian names. He could not pronounce Canandaigua this morning. I was three years old when my father was stationed at Sampson with the Navy during World War II. We lived in Canandaigua during that assignment.

  21. GMA should hire Sam Champion-lite = aka, Lee Goldberg

  22. ernestine orozco says:

    I’m going to miss seeing you on gma love you n wish you the best.

  23. Susan stuckey says:

    So sad to see Sam leave, but you must follow your dreams! Ginger is not the right replacement–too cutesy. Robin needs to be replaced–too tiring. Glad Laura’s mouth has quieted down. I’m a GMA daily watcher, but that may change. Good luck Sam!

  24. Marilyn says:

    Sam I will miss you as you are one of the reasons I love GMA. Always wished you would be on DWTS.
    Best of luck to you. Guess I will start watching the weather channel. Best to you.

  25. Heidi Raisch says:

    Sam will be greatly missed! He is my favorite morning news personality.

  26. TerryE says:

    SAM LEAVING????? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS Finally None ever looked or acted stupider standing in the middle of a hurricane leaning into the wind while airborne objects flew by behind them. Simply more smaltzy showbiz that served no purpose.

  27. Linda Lawrence says:

    I love sam it was such a joy to see him every morning love you sam good luck and you will be missed

  28. Karen Staco says:

    SAM LEAVING????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  29. Nancy Garretson says:

    Very sad to hear Sam is leaving. Very excited to check out his new show on TWC ! Best of luck with your new position and as you enter into married life. You will be missed.

  30. lisa rogers says:

    Please keep us posted on the times you will be on the weather channel.

  31. lisa rogers says:

    You will truly be missed Sam. I was so sad when I heard the news this morning. I love seeing that Smiley face every morning. But now you will be starting a new chapter in your life. God Bless. Love Lisa.

  32. Linda Neis says:

    Good,he was annoying. Always talking way too fast. Now Good Morning America needs to get Chris Cuomo back. Miss him. And get rid of Robin Roberts.

  33. Toni Wright says:

    Love you Sam. But will follow you to the weather channel. See you there.

    TLW9013

  34. Lisa Marcucci says:

    You will be very very missed!!!
    I love the relationship you all have on GMA!! So comfortable with one another.
    You are a true joy to watch.
    Good luck in your new venture, I know
    You will excell. !!! Go get!em Sam!!

  35. Ric Sabatini says:

    An interesting quandry. Where do I go for my morning weather? I’m a regular viewer of GMA, but now I have to choose between Sam & Ginger. What to do? Then, who will take over Ginger’s job? Perhaps Cecily Tynan from Philly?

  36. Tracy says:

    While I am sad to see Sam Champion leave GMA, I think Ginger Zee is the perfect choice to replace him. Ginger always makes the weather fun and interesting and she is always ready to go anywhere necessary to report weather-related news….just like Sam has always done. I know Sam will be an amazing addition to TWC, and they are lucky to have him on board. GMA will be just as lucky to continue on with Ginger!

  37. Brooke Adams says:

    I am so excited for Sam but Ginger Zee just does not have the big, fun, laughter. I wish he and his partner the best with this change but this a HUGE lose for GMA!!!!!!

  38. Susan Briggs says:

    I’m just sick that Sam is leaving…..Josh, Sam, Robin, George and Lara are a fantastic team…..I love the way they interact with each other. It never will be the same. If anyone else goes, I’m gone too. I turn on GMA as soon as i I wake up. They make me laugh. It’s a mistake!!!!

  39. Darlene says:

    I just knew he was going to leave GMA some day. He is so good & full of of personality. I will really miss him. Now don’t make the mistake of loosing Josh, my other favorite. I’ve been having second thoughts about GMA because it is going tooooooo Hollywood. if Josh ever leaves, I’ m gone too.

  40. We shall miss that handsome face and easy laughter that have endeared you to our hearts. Seeing you each morning has made it a better start to the day. You will be missed, Sam. Our best wishes for great success with your new venture

    • Benny Roberson says:

      I have to agree with Darlene.GMA has gone tooooooooooo Hollywood. They spend more time reporting on movie stars and the movies that they do the news we are all wanting to hear across America!

  41. Roger Wilson says:

    We’ll miss you Sam and all the laugh’s that you brought into our home and I can truley say that YOU hit the weather right on all the time .Good luck and God Bless and I’ll see you on the weather channel laughing and joking but being very sincere.thanks for the good times with GMA.

  42. Juliepo13 says:

    Sam will be SOOO missed! The chemistry they have all had was unbeatable. His bromance with Josh was always a hoot.

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