Sam Champion: ‘This is a Note I Never Imagined I’d Be Writing’

By Chris Ariens 

After a quarter century with one company, Sam Champion will be walking into a new workplace next week when he joins the Weather Channel. Following the news today that he’s leaving “Good Morning America,” tonight, Champion sent a note to his ABC “family” thanking them for the support and giving hints as to why he left the No. 1 morning show.

“It’s my opinion that never has the understanding of weather been more important to our lives than right now,” Champion writes. “I’m excited for the opportunity to join the Weather Channel for this next adventure.”

That adventure will include anchoring a morning show, as well as a network-wide management role. We hear it will also mean more opportunities for projects produced by Champion’s production company to be carried on the Weather Channel, much like the deal NBC’s Al Roker has with the part-owned NBCU network.

See Champion’s note after the jump…

This is a note I never imagined I’d be writing. For 25 years, ABC has been my home, filled with my family and my friends. Every day when I walk these halls, virtually every face is known and familiar to me. It’s a rich news culture that I grew up in, and I feel privileged to have been taught by the very best.

This journey began with my days at WABC-TV, starting off doing weekend weather. Proudly I rode the juggernaut that was “Eyewitness News”, New York’s fabled #1 news station. I was lucky enough to spend most of my career doing weather on the 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 news there, meanwhile filling in on “Good Morning America” since 1989.

So when ABC News asked me to take the job at GMA in 2006, I already felt like I was part of the family. But I could never have known the depth of that word “family”, until spending the last seven-plus years with you all. I’ve been privileged to feel the power and full resources of ABC News as I travelled the globe covering the weather. GMA has offered me a unique and unparalleled blend of assignments, from the devastating tornadoes of Joplin, to the heartbreaking destruction of Super Storm Sandy… incredible adventures, from the Arctic Circle to the Brazilian rain forest and epic live events from Katy Perry to Britney Spears. It’s a job anyone would be lucky to have.

To the crews in the field, Ops, producers , writers and editors, bookers, overnight staff, studio crew, Seniors, and, of course, Team Weather, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. It’s your hard work that makes a powerhouse network news division like ABC News, and a #1 show like GMA, possible.

Thank you Ben Sherwood, for your unwavering support of all things weather and being the leader who understands that weather is news. I appreciate your wisdom and counsel, not only during my time at ABC but also during this transitional period. Thanks to James Goldston and Tom Cibrowski for putting new life into GMA, and guiding what was already a number one show into truly becoming number one in the ratings. To my fellow anchors at GMA: Robin, George, Josh and Lara, thank you for making television electric and invigorating. I’ve never had more fun in TV than in the last few years with you.

I hope to have an opportunity in the next few days to hug and thank each and every one of you, for making such a large part of my life so extraordinary.

It’s my opinion that never has the understanding of weather been more important to our lives than right now. I’m excited for the opportunity to join the Weather Channel for this next adventure.

I look forward to hearing from all of you. Starting next week, you can reach me at [email redacted]