Ovation: Sam Champion Finds A New Home At The Weather Channel.
Every morning when I get ready to leave for the office I listen to the morning news. It’s about ninety minutes of background drivel with an occasional story that catches my attention long enough to stop me in my tracks as I get dressed, feed the dog or make the bed. The local news anchors do a respectable job of reporting the biggest stories in town, across the nation and around the world. Sadly it appears that, more often than not, they simply read the news to viewers rather than report the news. But I guess that’s what they’re expected to do nowadays.
These folks have become such a part of my routine that when I hear them say “Have a great day everybody!” followed by the voice of Robin Roberts or Sam Champion I know I’m running late. I should really be out the door before Good Morning America begins. But starting on Thursday morning, Sam Champion’s voice will no longer signal my potential tardiness.
Yesterday, ABC News President Ben Sherwood announced that Champion is leaving ABC News, after twenty-five years at the network, to join the Weather Channel. This is the note that he sent to the news division …
I’m writing with important news:
Our friend and colleague Sam Champion is leaving ABC News for a new opportunity at the Weather Channel. He will become the on-air face of the network, appearing as a host and serving as managing editor. Sam calls it a once in a lifetime opportunity.
For 25 years, Sam has been a vital member of the ABC News family — joining powerhouse station WABC in 1988 and GMA in 2006.
Over the years at GMA, Sam has broadcast more than 1,800 weather forecasts. He has traveled to almost every major weather event in the U.S. As many of you know, Sam’s “Go” bag is always ready and his stellar reporting during Superstorm Sandy contributed to ABC’s Peabody Award for coverage of that historic storm.
Sam has broadcast live from a raft floating between polar icebergs, danced the salsa on “Despierta America” and interviewed countless newsmakers, celebrities and chefs. On his show “Sea Rescue,” viewers have shared Sam’s passion for marine animal rescue, rehabilitation and release.
While there is no replacing Sam, we are in excellent hands with his storm chasing partner of the last few years, meteorologist Ginger Zee, who will take over his weather responsibilities at GMA and across ABC News. 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.
GMA will celebrate Sam’s last day on Wednesday’s program. While he is leaving ABC News, he will always be a part of our family.
Please join me in thanking Sam for his friendship and countless contributions to our news division. And let’s all wish him the very best and say so long for now.
Champion will be the new face of the Weather Channel and also be the network’s managing editor. Plus, beginning early in 2014, he’ll anchor a morning show that on many days he will host remotely.
Because the Weather Channel is partly owned by NBC Universal, it won’t be surprising to see him appear on NBC News programs from time to time. Plus, he’ll continue to host Sea Rescue, a weekly syndicated educational and informational program in conjunction with SeaWorld parks.
On the days that I’ve found myself running late for work, I’ve always enjoyed seeing him on television. He seems like a genuinely nice man, who loves his job, is extremely good at it and really enjoys sharing his knowledge with his viewers and his fans. I think he’s going to do a great job at the Weather Channel.
Next week, I’ll be blaming Ginger Zee if I’m late for work.
Are you a Sam Champion fan?
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