|Born||Samuel James Champion
August 13, 1961
Paducah, Kentucky, United States
|Education||Eastern Kentucky University (B.A.)|
|Title||TV personality/anchor, Good Morning America|
Samuel James "Sam" Champion (born August 13, 1961) is an American weather anchor who is best known for his combined 25-year career on the ABC flagship station WABC-TV and Good Morning America. Following his December 4, 2013, final day with ABC, he is scheduled to become managing editor of The Weather Channel in early 2014.
Early life and education
Champion was born in Paducah, Kentucky, in McCracken County. to Sylvia and James H. Champion. He has one sibling, sister Teresa. His father, who died October 25, 2010, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Vietnam. He graduated from Fairfax High School in Fairfax, VA in 1979. He has a B.A. in broadcast news from Eastern Kentucky University, and interned at WKYT-TV in Lexington, Kentucky.
Champion, who is not a meteorologist, worked at WPSD-TV in Paducah, Kentucky, and WJKS (later WCWJ) in Jacksonville, Florida. He became a weather forecaster for WABC-TV's Eyewitness News in New York City in 1988. He went on Good Morning America at a salary in 2012 of $1.5 million per year. On April 7, 2012, he debuted as host of Sea Rescue, an educational and informational program in Litton's Weekend Adventure that focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and in many instances release of animals back into wildlife.
In August 2006, Good Morning America announced Champion would join that show and ABC News, effective September 5, 2006. Champion announced his departure from "ABC" on December 2, 2013, to become an on-air presence at, and managing editor of, "The Weather Channel". His last day on "Good Morning America" was December 4, 2013.
He has occasionally appeared on Live! with Kelly and Michael, the daily talk show produced by WABC-TV, and CNN's Larry King Live. He often begins his 30-second weathercasts by saying, "Let's get to the boards." His catchphrase when breaking for weather reports from local ABC stations is, "That's the weather around the nation. Here's what you can expect this morning."
Champion, who is openly gay, is active in many charitable organizations in the New York City area. He was the Grand Marshal of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Fall Bike Tour, the chairman of the 25th annual March of Dimes NYC WalkAmerica, and master of ceremonies of "Stopping AIDS Together," a part of Sunday by the Bay. He hosted the New York City Project's 2002 "Courage Awards," along with movie critic Frank DeCaro.
Champion had a basal cell carcinoma removed from his skin in May 2010 while on air, after previous bouts with the disease. Critics called it a Nielsen ratings sweeps-month publicity stunt. Champion maintained he was raising awareness about skin cancer during Cancer Awareness Month.
Sam Champion was mentioned in Dame Edna Everage's song Friends of Kenny, a humorous song about her (fictional) gay son.
- "Sam Champion: Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- "Birth registration (McCracken County, Kentucky), Reg. # 85-42167". FamilyTreeLegends.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
- "Remembering Sam Champion's Father". ABC News. October 26, 2010. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Sam Champion's Biography". ABC. August 22, 2006.
- "Who Makes How Much". New York. Retrieved 2102-08-27.
- "Sea Rescue". SeaWorld]]. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Kindelan, Katie (December 4, 2013). "Sam Champion, With Laughs and Tears, Bids Farewell to 'Good Morning America'". ABC. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- Limsky, Drew (2005-08-30). "Nueva gay island". The Advocate. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- "Anti-Violence Project to Hold Sixth Annual Courage Awards". avp.org. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- "Sam Champion will have cancerous spot removed from shoulder live on ABC's 'Good Morning America'". Daily News. New York. May 12, 2010.
- "Sam Champion Engaged to be Married, gma.com". Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Mandell, Andrea (December 21, 2012). "'GMA' anchor Sam Champion marries his partner". USA Today.
- Dana, Lerner. "Sam Champion Goes on Tour for Slow Rewind". NYU Livewire. Retrieved June 25, 2010.