Meteorologist Sam Champion will return to ABC's Good Morning America the week of Jan. 11, filling in for his successor, Ginger Zee, who is currently on maternity leave.
Champion left the top-rated morning show in December 2013, for his own morning show at the Atlanta-based Weather Channel. But the network has since re-organized its programming schedule, a consequence of belt-tightening, and Champion's show was among those axed. He has since been anchoring breaking weather news and focusing on digital initiatives at the network, while also readying a primetime interview show.
Champion handed the reigns to Zee when he left GMA. Zee gave birth to her first child in December. Champion came up at WABC, the ABC owned station in New York, where he filled in for weatherman Spencer Christian, before being tapped as the show's full-time meteorologist in 2006. He was part of the core anchor team at GMA that in 2012 finally snapped Today's 16-plus-year hold on the morning news ratings crown. Since then Today has regained some ground on GMA, besting the ABC program so far this season among the critical 25-54 demographic.
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GMA, Champion told THR late last year, "was my dream. I had just taken the job at WABC, had moved from Jacksonville, Florida, to New York. My interview in New York was the first time I was ever in New York. So I was immensely bowled over by the whole thing."