Sam Champion's New Weather Show Readies for March Launch

Image: Sam Champion's New Weather Show Readies for March Launch

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 08:02 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Sam Champion is putting the finishing touches on his soon to be launched Weather Channel show titled "America's Morning Headquarters with Sam Champion," or "AMHQ" for short.

The longtime ABC News weatherman, who after 25 years left the network last December for an opportunity to have his own show and get a managing editor position, is expected to launch the new program in March.

The three-hour broadcast will air weekdays at 7 a.m. Eastern time, Champion told the Associated Press, adding that it will be "a brand-new take on what it takes to get America up and moving in the morning."

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"When you wake up, you get your first news, texts and updates on your smartphone and laptop, not television," Champion said. "What you need from TV is a very thorough understanding of what's going on in your environment. Your weather needs become, 'What's it like right now, and every hour through the day for me and my home team as we're heading out into the world?'"

According to Champion, traditional television news programs are unable to provide that focused understanding of the weather because news takes top priority and the bulk of available air-time.

"I may get 30 seconds, I might get a minute-20. I might be 17 minutes into the show," said Champion, citing past experience as the "Good Morning America" meteorologist. "But I think weather is a high priority for the audience. No matter what's going on, it all starts with the weather. Weather information is what colors all of your planning, all of your decision-making, for the day to come."

As for how AMHQ will differ from other weather news programs, Champion says that while the program will devote some time to national and global weather, each successive hour of the show will target different time zones in the U.S., beginning on the East Coast and ending the final hour with weather affecting the Western United States considering it will be 6 a.m. Pacific time.

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"By then, we'll have gotten the East Coast and Middle America out the door," Champion explained. "That third hour will focus on what the West Coast needs to know as it wakes up."

Champion, 52, will be joined on the broadcast by fellow Weather Channel meteorologists Mike Bettes and Maria LaRosa.

Though Champion would not give specifics as to how the weather forecasts would be delivered, he said they'd be given in a way that will be "almost like 3-D, putting the viewer in the middle of this information. I think it's something you haven't seen before."

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