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The Weather Channel reveals premiere date, details for Sam Champion’s new show

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On Feb. 18, The Weather Channel revealed exciting details and the premiere date of Sam Champion’s new morning show via its online press room. Champion, who spent a combined 25 years at WABC-TV and “Good Morning America” will premiere “AMHQ with Sam Champion" on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Maria LaRosa and Mike Bettes will serve as co-hosts of the new flagship show that’s set to air every weekday morning from 7-10 a.m. EST on The Weather Channel.

Sam Champion, an Emmy and Peabody Award winner, will not only anchor the new show, but he’ll also act as managing editor. David Clark, president of The Weather Channel network, stated about Champion’s new endeavor:

Together with an incredible bench of experts and contributors, we have created the morning show for the rest of us - a fast-moving, forward-looking, information-based hub to get you out the door informed, energized and ready to tackle your day.

“AMHQ with Sam Champion” launches on St. Patrick’s Day with live reporting from New York City and Chicago. “AMHQ” will also count down to the highly anticipated start of spring.

“Wake Up with Al” will serve as the lead-in to “AMHQ” by airing weekday mornings from 5:30-7 a.m. EST.

On Jan. 14, DirecTV dropped The Weather Channel from its line-up and began airing WeatherNation over a one-cent per month rate hike (per subscriber). Dan York from DirecTV stated that the hike was higher, but declined to say by how much. David Kenny, CEO of The Weather Channel’s parent company, countered by saying that DirecTV was not only fighting the penny increase, but was also looking for a price rollback. Regardless of the reasons for the fight, DirecTV customers who enjoyed and appreciated The Weather Channel were the biggest losers.

As posted by the “Los Angeles Daily News” on Feb. 16, WeatherNation is working with DirecTV to improve its lackluster service. However, TWC fans are not mollified. In fact, The Weather Channel has attracted more than 6.6 million visitors on its DirecTV protest site with close to 300,000 fans pledging to switch providers due to the blackout.

Even though the dispute is more than one month old, customers are still sounding off against DirecTV. Below are a few posts on www.keeptheweatherchannel.com from Feb. 18.

I don't get high speed Internet in my area and the local channels I get are from the neighboring state! So, I depend on The Weather Channel for up to the minute conditions. The alternative that DirecTV has provided in it's place is not even close. Where's my discount for losing The Weather Channel? Switching to Dish is looking better and better to me and a BUNCH of my friends and family members!

I own 3 different homes that I will be converting to Dish on March 1st if TWC is not back on. As a SCUBA Instructor and boat operator, only the best top of the line weather coverage will due. TWC is irreplaceable.

We strongly dislike the new weather channel on Direct TV. We don't get local weather with the new channel. Please bring back the Weather Channel.

PLEASE bring back the Weather Channel. The new weather site is a waste of airtime. I don't want to get rid of Direct TV, but I will do what I have to do to get the channels I want.

TWC is professionally delivered weather news and weather related stories. The current replacement for TWC on DTV is infomercials with weather as an afterthought. This replacement is about as useful as the time and temp clock at the bank, but more annoying.

Why would you take a perfectly good channel and get rid of it. This channel has helped me get through many storms in my area. Jim Cantore is the best. This channel is informative and on point. I will be leaving Direct TV. I am not going to pay for something that I do not like. Good Bye DIRECT TV.

Here in West Texas we have to have the Weather Channel. The weather changes so fast here and in extremes. We had decided to drop our cable and go to Direct TV. Now that won't be happening.

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