Winds of change at 'GMA,' where Ginger Zee to replace Sam Champion

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 12/02/2013, 01:52pm

The forecast calls for a clearing of Sam Champion on “Good Morning America” and more Ginger Zee.

Champion is leaving his longtime home at ABC News to join The Weather Channel, according to an announcement made Monday by ABC News President Ben Sherwood. Champion will be the on-air face of the network, anchoring the network’s new flagship morning show when it debuts early next year. He’ll also serve as managing editor.

Sam Champion is leaving ABC News to go to The Weather Channel. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Sam Champion is leaving ABC News to go to The Weather Channel. (Photo courtesy ABC)

“Sam calls it a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Sherwood wrote in an email to employees.

Champion’s move is the first change to the “GMA” line-up since the show eclipsed NBC’s long-reigning champ “Today” last year. The Hollywood Reporter reports that he’d been in contract talks with ABC News execs for some time.

Former WMAQ-Channel 5 meteorologist Ginger Zee, who’s frequently filled in for Champion on the morning talk show, will take over Champion’s weather responsibilities at “GMA” and across ABC News.

Zee was raised on a farm near Grand Rapids, Mich., and joined WMAQ in 2006. She left the station in 2011. Before that, Zee interned at WGN-Channel 9, where Tom Skilling helped teach her the ropes.

“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 in the email.

Champion’s last day on “GMA” will be Wednesday.