Its selfishly satisfying to know that even Americas best-known weather anchor sometimes gets annoyed by a lousy winter storm.
Asking again, Sam Champion posted March 2 on Facebook, about to depart his weekend home in warm Miami Beach for chilly New York City. Why am i leaving 80 for a snowstorm....sigh.
Champion, longtime weather anchor on ABCs Good Morning America, has moved to The Weather Channel, where Monday morning he debuts a three-hour live weather show called AMHQ ( Americas Morning Headquarters).
Its a whole new project for The Weather Channel, said Champion, who in November resigned from ABC after 25 years. It is not just filling time and changing a sign and putting someones name on the door. It truly is reimagining what morning television should be for The Weather Channel audience and for America. We think that the way the traditional morning shows stack their shows doesnt necessarily meet the information needs of the audience.
Champion, The Weather Channels new managing editor, said AMHQ will appeal to the Internet-savvy generation.
We believe that the audience, by the time theyve gotten to the television set, have already checked in on their text, their Twitter, their Facebook. Theyve got a running knowledge of whats going on in the world. They want to be informed and they want things to be filled in, but the first thing they dont have running knowledge of is whats going on in their environment, he says. Were targeting that person whos in charge of the family team, who has to get everybody focused and out the door.
Champion says AMHQ will be broadcast live in all time zones. This is not a show that will be taped three hours in New York and played three hours in L.A.
The first 15 minutes of every half-hour will be dedicated to the top weather story. This is a new concept for morning television, Champion says.
The amount of time that I would get on a broadcast like Good Morning America would be generally 30 seconds, unless there was some kind of big weather story then I might get a minute, 30, with another 30 seconds later. I might get a minute, 30 for the big weather story and 30 seconds for the countrys weather.
Champion got lots of publicity in late 2012 when he and Brazilian-born Miami artist Rubem Robierb married in New York. They had a New Years Eve reception in South Beach.
I didnt want to make an issue out of my personal life before I fell in love. And America, quite frankly, wasnt involved in knowing the background of the people who delivered information before, either, Champion says. I take issue with the fact that I came out when we got married. I was out since I was 30 years old and Im 52 now. I have a very open life. People in New York knew. I just never gave an interview about it.
Champion and Robierb have moved their weekday residence from New York to Atlanta.
South Florida will always be my primary residence in my mind, Champion says. But my job is in Atlanta and The Weather Channel is in Atlanta, so five days a week we live in Atlanta. I love the city. Its an amazing city. Ive managed to get there at just the right time.
As hes done for two decades, Champion plans to spend most weekends in Miami Beach.
South Florida is my total weekend, Champion says. I look forward to it. For me its beach time. I have to put my feet on the sand and I have to get in the water every weekend. Its kind of how I get re-centered and reenergized. Im very much a water guy. I can be in it, on top of it, underneath it. I just have to be around it.
In and around Miami Beach, Champion and Robierb enjoy shopping and dining out.
Were likely to be in Yardbird, were likely to be in Ice Box, were likely to be at Pubbelly Sushi. If we want a fancy night, a night out, were likely to be at the SLS at Katsuya, which is a favorite of ours, he says. I love the new Design District, going to great shopping. For the past two weekends, Ive spent a lot of time there.
Thats because bad traffic frustrates Champion even more than bad weather.
I used to make the drive up to Bal Harbour, he says. Can you fix the traffic for me? Because this construction on Alton Road is going to drive me crazy. Now everything is completely jammed up and I dont drive as much to shop as I used to. I spend more time shopping in the smaller boutiques on the Beach.