Sam Champion to Make Brief Return to ‘Good Morning America’

Sam Champion
Courtesy The Weather Channel

Producers at ABC’s “Good Morning America” have on occasion goosed interest in the show by tapping special guests from outside the program’s ranks to hold forth on set. On January 11, “GMA” will rely instead on a guest who many will find familiar.

Sam Champion, who served as the ABC morning program’s weather anchor between 2006 and the end of 2013, will take that role again for a week as he fills in for Ginger Zee, the current “GMA” meteorologist who is on maternity leave. He left the show to pursue a position at Weather Channel, the independent cable network that has faced a series of challenges in recent months.

The move is expected to be announced Monday morning on “GMA.”

Champion joins a roster of eyebrow-raising “GMA” guest hosts. Katie Couric, the one-time co-hoxst of NBC’s “Today,” filled in for a week in 2012 while co-anchor Robin Roberts was away. Michael Strahan, the former professional football player and co-host of syndicated morning program “Live,” holds forth on “GMA” a few times a week.

Champion holds a distinction those others do not. He was part of the on-air crew in 2012 when “GMA” usurped NBC’s “Today” in the ratings. His departure – which occurred just a few months before another colleague, Josh Elliott, decamped to NBC – spurred questions over whether “GMA” could continue its viewership streak if members of the team that pushed it to new heights were no longer part of the show.

The program proved naysayers wrong. “Good Morning America” has continued to win more viewers than “Today” steadily since April of 2012. Yet the NBC program has battled back, and in thelast several months has trumped its ABC rival in luring more of the viewers that advertisers covet in news programs, audience members between 25 and 54.

Champion originally moved to Weather Channel to host a morning program of his own. The network changed that in September of last year as the outlet ran into operating difficulties that resulted in layoffs and a new focus on core viewers interested in weather, rather than some of the reality and non-fiction programming that had become a staple of its schedule. Champion’s new mandate was to develop and lead expanded weather coverage during primetime.

Champion’s appearance on “GMA” is likely to spur speculation over a potential return apperarance by Elliott, who left ABC for NBC Sports in 2014. Elliott recently parted ways with the NBCUniveral-owned operation. Amy Robach is the current “GMA” news anchor – Elliott’s old position – and has become recognized for the work she has done during her tenure on the program.

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  1. Ginger you are awesome…..but I miss Sam you two work well together too bad there isn’t away that you both be doing the weather on GMA……MISS YOU BIG TIME SAM….xoxoxxo

  2. Well, I loved the crew when Josh n sam were to gather. It felt like I was having morning chat with, my family , sorry ginger but I just couldn’t feel that way with you,!!! The Bros were like my Brothers, and the magic they all had was something else,that you haven’t replicated since cuz, they all had that jenaysecqua!!! Don’t laugh at my french, I am mexican American
    What I guess I am trying to say ,thanks for bring back my friends even it for a short time, wish it was permanent! !!!!

  3. babette says:

    Sam needs to come back to GMA Ginger can stay home and Lara also needs to leave she is just a terrible host and has the personality of a sour grape

  4. Joy says:

    Love him wish he would come back

  5. Sonia says:

    Love to see Sam on GMA. Wish he would return.

  6. Anna Devane says:

    Sam needs to stay on morning tv. I hope GMA or Today keeps him on. I really don’t watch much anymore with the lineup they have now. Sam was fun!

    Stephanopolous is a toad & Robin is, well she’s just Robin.
    Today is just as bad. I switched to Radio

  7. Kridtine says:

    Wish Sam Champion would come back!! Love him

  8. Brenda Horne says:

    Love Sam Champion!!!!!! Wish you were back on GMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Susan Allen says:

    I was changing channels and saw Sam on GMA. Now will watch GMA! Love to watch Sam.

  10. GranniK says:

    Bring Sam Champion back. He and Ginger can co-anchor the weather. ABC really needs to overhaul GMA before the Today show takes over in the ratings Not sure what happened to Lara, but I cringe every she comes on and usually just turn the channel and what is with all the different sports people, pick one!!

  11. Joyce Givers says:

    I want Sam & Josh back on a TV program together soon.
    Sam is my favorite. On TV

  12. jab jones says:

    Bleux Rogue…Having a problem with the overuse of the gay word ?
    What a hateful person you are…You know nothing about these people. Get a life you miserable biotch…

  13. Jacqueline Woods says:

    I love Sam Champion, was very disappointed when he and Josh left, I loved Sam’s awesome smile and that laughter of his. Was very excited to hear he was coming back but then found out it was only temporary. I think Sam,Robin, Lara, George and Josh really made the show.I do love Ginger but I prefer Sam if I had a vote .The chemistry between all of them was fantastic!

  14. Jeff Pahlow says:

    SAM needs to be back on gma he was great as the am weatherman enjoyed seeing the friendly voice and face very informative as well

  15. Val says:

    Awesome to see Sam back on GMA!!
    I miss seeing him in the morning!! Have not watch AMHQ since he left:(
    Sam I wish you the best.. You are a great inspiration.. And your delivery of the weather/ news etc.. Is great!!
    Would love to see Sam and Josh back for a guest appearance !,,

  16. Janet Cooper says:

    Love Sam Champion….wish he would return full time!

  17. Tricia says:

    Uplifting to see Sam Champion on GMA.

  18. LOUISA HODEL0001 says:

    It was great seeing Sam back on GMC
    He is missed everyday.
    He just fits in like hes never been away.

  19. Janice says:

    I loved it when Sam Champion mispronounced Lara Spenser’s name. She is the reason I quit watching GMA.

  20. Bleux Rogue says:

    Can’t stand Sam or Josh. Both overrated overpaid d-bags with over inflated egos. Hate Gay Morning America too but they better not bring either back. Better smarter show is cbs this morning. NBC’s ToGay show sucks too.

  21. Bonnie says:

    Love Sam (and Ginger). Can’t stand Josh. Also can’t stand ABC proclivity for putting random male athletes on the show, most of whom are so arrogant (can’t remember the last guy’s name–white guy) they think they have something intelligent/amusing/interesting to say. Usually not the case.

    • Kamir says:

      I like Sam and Ginger too. As for Josh, not so much. Weird if they brought him back. He left for the Today show not sports and it fell apart when his friend got fired. He sent ABC a FU email on a Sunday night. They didn’t have him come back for a send off. President of ABC sent out a not so nice memo on him leaving. Ok GMA had him back for the 40th show but they put him in the back, never addressed him or had and video with him in it. If they brought him back I assume we are suppose to forget all of this.
      Happy to see Sam return to fill in for Ginger.

  22. George Otterman says:

    I was under the impression that Sam would be associated with Al Roker thus NBC. I also surprised to learn that Sam does not have a degree in meteorology. Ginger has a degree meteorology.

    • Bleux Rogue says:

      I was surprised to read about it years ago when he was with ABC channel 7 news. He’s just pretty. Gay boy Who slept his way to the top. No talent.

  23. Lisa E. Zimmerman says:

    I thought Sam Champion did a great job on GMA and I am happy for his return :))

  24. DodeinSFO says:

    Is this newsworthy? Sam Champion … who cares.

  25. K Pac says:

    I am so happy that he is returning. He was the main reason I began to watch!!

  26. Stacy says:

    Yay! Love that Sam will be back, even if it is temporary!

  27. Lisa Agosto says:

    Very happy for Sam champion return. Great news. We love it.

    • Dee says:

      Love GMA, but change channel, when, Lara Spencer, talks.
      They also give to much time to Trump, change channel.
      Love Robin, George, Amy, and Sam. This is the best time.

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