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ABC News and Good Morning America meteorologist Sam Champion is leaving the network to join The Weather Channel, ABC News said today.
ABC News President Ben Sherwood said in a memo to staffers that Champion will take a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to be an on-air talent for The Weather Channel. He will also be a managing editor for the network.
Champion started with ABC News as meteorologist for WABC, the local New York affiliate, in 1988. He joined GMA in 2006, working on over 1,800 weather reports. He also contributed to the network’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the tri-state area in 2012.
Ginger Zee will take over the lead meteorologist role for GMA. “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.
“Sam is already one of the top names in morning television, as well as one of the country’s most respected and trusted weather reporters,” Weather Channel president David Clark said in a statement posted at MediaBistro.
“He will add a great deal to our network and be a great addition to our already proven and stellar team of talented weather professionals. With his commitment to understanding, predicting, and explaining the power of weather in our lives, Sam perfectly embodies The Weather Channel’s brand philosophy, ‘It’s Amazing Out There,’” Clark continued.
Champion’s last day on GMA is Wednesday. He will host The Weather Channel’s new morning show starting next year.
image: ABC/Ida Mae Astute; Champion with Josh Elliot