Monday, December 2, 2013
Sam Champion Exiting "Good Morning America."
Champion's exit marks the first change to the GMA team since the show overtook NBC's once-dominant Today last year. Ginger Zee, who has been a frequent fill-in in for Champion on GMA, will replace him. Champion had been in contract negotiations with ABC News executives for some time. Champion's GMA colleagues Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer also are negotiating new deals at ABC News. Meanwhile, while Robin Roberts, who returned to GMA full-time last September, has completed a new deal to remain at ABC News. Champion is leaving ABC News, where he has been for 25 years, for a robust new role at The Weather Channel, which is a division of the NBCUniversal News Group. He'll anchor a new flagship morning program, set to launch early next year. And he'll assume managing editor responsibilities a the channel, which has increasingly sought to become a destination during times other than periodical weather disasters. Champion will relocate from New York to Atlanta for the gig. In an e-mail to employees announcing the move, ABC News president Ben Sherwood noted Champion's 25 years at the news division and added that he is leaving to become the "on-air face" of the network, which Champion himself characterzed as a "once in a lifetime opportunity."
Sidebar: I like Sam. GMA won't be the same.