This was posted Monday, December 26, 2016 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Sam Champion is leaving the Weather Channel after three years at the Atlanta-based network.
The former “Good Morning America” meteorologist came to the network with a flourish in early 2014 as the main anchor for a newly revamped “AMHQ” morning show based at headquarters off I-75 and I-285.
“Their plans were genius to me,” Champion said in March, 2014. “The more I heard of the opportunities, the more interested I became. And I realized I would regret it if I said no and not try something that I considered momentous.”
But the relationship never quite turned into a romance. Champion only spent part of his time in Atlanta. And soon, management fiddled with the morning show. Veteran Weather Channel host Jim Cantore joined Champion on “AMHQ” in early 2015.
Then in September, 2015, the Weather Channel changed direction and dropped Champion from “AMHQ,” replacing Champion with Stephanie Abrams, who joined Cantore.
For several months, he was barely on the network before introducing a weekly evening weather show called “23.5 Degrees” in March. He got more buzz guest hosting on “Good Morning America.”
Champion at the time said he championed a quirky title for the New York based show, noting that 23.5 degrees is the average tilt of the Earth toward the sun. “That’s a ticket of entry for the show, whether it’s the environment, climate or technology” he told me.
Tomorrow will be Champion’s finale “23.5 Degrees,” which was pre-taped. He has since moved to Miami where his husband Brazilian visual artist Rubem Robierb is located.
The Weather Channel released this statement today:
“While Sam will always be part of The Weather Channel family, we have mutually agreed to not enter into a new contract. As our managing editor, host of our flagship AMHQ and his pioneering work on ‘23.5 Degrees,’ Sam’s leadership has helped transform The Weather Channel into the dynamic high-quality environment it is today, and we are grateful for his contribution and dedication. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
“23.5 Degrees” series finale, 11 p.m. Tuesday, The Weather Channel