The Weather Channel has a familiar and very visible new Champion.
The former forecaster for ABC's "Good Morning America" debuts the weekday "AMHQ With Sam Champion" Monday, March 17. The acronym stands for "America's Morning Headquarters," and along with meteorologist co-hosts Maria LaRosa and Mike Bettes, that's just what the genial Champion intends the three-hour program to be ... for news and lifestyle stories as well as the weather.
"It was a dream come true," he tells Zap2it, "to have someone even say the words, 'This is what we want to do with The Weather Channel, and we'd love for you to come do it.' I never dreamt I would hear something like that."
Champion compares his new co-workers to "a group of sprinters all moving in the same direction, all very excited. They just want to know which direction we're going in, and that it's all possible. When we've tossed out an idea, I've never heard anyone say, 'No.' They take that idea and think of five great ways to implement it."
With the way this winter has been, Champion is even more firm in his long-held conviction that weather is news: "I think that line is getting thinner and thinner. When I look at everybody who's doing morning television, those shows are built the same way they were from the time they first tossed up the 'Today' emblem.
"Twitter is the news-breaking organization of our time," asserts Champion. "The news cycle is not 24 hours anymore. It's right now. When I wake up in the morning and a show starts with what I think is the faulty premise that you don't know anything about the world today, I find myself going, 'I already know that. I need to know something else. What is it?' ''
Also The Weather Channel's managing editor now, Champion says he keeps in touch with many of his ex-colleagues at "GMA," including "best friend" Josh Elliott. "Some relationships there are the best friendships of my life. I was fortunate enough to handpick the weather team there, and with others, I was just fortunate enough to love them."
Photo/Video credit: The Weather Channel