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Gay celebrity: Sam Champion discusses Weather Channel debut

Sam Champion attends Breakfast At TWC Studios at Highline Stages on January 31, 2014 in New York City.
(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Time Warner Cable)

Fans of Sam Champion will have to get use to him on another network. Starting on March 17, Champion will anchor his new morning program on The Weather Channel. In an interview with TV Guide Magazine published on March 10, the former “Good Morning America” weather anchor discusses the new launch, his rivalry with Al Rocker and being openly gay in the business.

Champion recently ended his 16-year run on ABC’s “GMA” to launch his new show on The Weather Channel. The morning program, titled “America’s Morning Headquarters With Sam Champion” will broadcast weedays 7am/6c on Champion’s new home. The switch marks a new beginning for the weather anchor who tells TV Guide in the interview that his show will provide something fresh and new.

“I think weather is primary. The news cycle is much shorter today than it’s ever been. I don’t want my morning show to waste my time with things I already know about. I’m hooked in with Twitter and Facebook – I know what happened yesterday. There is a lot of time in the morning where I’m told stuff that I already knew or that wasn’t going to help me plan my day. And I’m waiting for information that will.”

Champion wants to give his viewers something fresh and something that will help them in the planning of their day. He says the benefit of the show being live for three hours is that the morning show can start the day of the different time zones by providing weather stories and other information that targets them first.

The transition to the Weather Channel also means an affiliation with NBC, which means Al Roker of “Today” kind of becomes a co-worker, but at the same time he is still competition. Sam Champion discussed that he has no enemies at either network and understands that each weather anchor is trying to deliver the same information. The competition is healthy and everything is cool with Roker.

“We’ve been friends for 25 years. I know his family. He knows my husband. There isn’t that kind of competition, and I didn’t leave Good Morning America to go to the Today show. I left GMA with one solid purpose and that was having the opportunity to build something new from the ground up in a place that is solely focused on weather.”

As Champion has always been able to focus on weather while on air, his personal life came into play when he came out as gay and announced his engagement on “GMA.” He explain how acceptance played a role in him opening up and how his personal life now has no impact on the job he does in his professional career.

“I had a chance to prove to the viewers what I could do everyday. They got to know me in my professional life first. If they didn’t like who I am in my personal life, they were able to put it in context of what I’ve done over 30 years. For anyone coming up in public life now, to have to take the topic on early in his or her career has to be a frightening thing. I was getting ready to get married. I wanted to talk about that. It was joyous to me. I never thought about talking about my personal life. I didn’t do a show where I thought that mattered.”

For Sam Champion, opening up about his personal life, was an explanation of the happiness he was enjoying. It was something he wanted to share with those who have allowed him into their homes for 16 years. On March 17, he will enter those homes in a new way.

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