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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Champion’

Lunch with Lara Spencer & Amy Robach: Rumors, Ratings & the Revolving Door

"GMA" anchors Amy Robach and Lara Spencer show off their manicures April 1. (via @laraspencer)

“Good Morning America” anchors Amy Robach and Lara Spencer show off their manicures on the show April 1. (via @laraspencer)

It has been a busy few months at “Good Morning America.” Since December, Sam Champion and Josh Elliott have departed, Ginger Zee and Amy Robach have joined the team and Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer have extended their contracts with ABC News. Through it all, “GMA” remains steadfast in the ratings, despite the fact that both Champion and Elliott — “our brothers,” as Spencer calls them — have decamped for NBC.

As “GMA” prepares to mark two years as the most-watched morning show, TVNewser caught up with Spencer and Robach over lunch at Bobby Flay‘s Bar Americain Tuesday. They told us about their new roles on the show, how the team is really getting along, and why the “GMA” rumor mill has been in high gear the past few weeks. Before talking shop, we asked Robach, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, how she is feeling.

Amy Robach: I am feeling pretty darn good considering where I am in my treatments. I have two more chemotherapy rounds left – my next one is on Thursday. My final one is April 24. And then I have one more surgery in June. I’m going to work every day, and that means a lot to me mentally which I think helps me physically.

My memory is not amazing right now. It’s a little nerve wracking, feeling not mentally sharp all the time, but luckily there’s a teleprompter in front of me, and a good team that picks up any mental malfunctions I may have in the middle of a sentence or a thought.

Lara Spencer:  You haven’t missed a beat. You are radiant and smiling – she’s a rock star. She comes in, she brings her A-game. I haven’t noticed the memory at all. She’s remarkable. She’s being very modest.

TVNewser: Do you feel like you’ve processed your promotion yet? Read more

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George Stephanopoulos Denies Being Unhappy About ‘GMA’ Changes

Stephanopoulos 304George Stephanopoulos denies being unhappy with the on-air changes at “Good Morning America,” telling Page Six the rumors aren’t true.

“So much of what you’ve been told is false. What I can say is that I’m proud of our continued success at ‘GMA,’ ‘This Week’ and ABC News, and I’m confident that will continue,” he told Page Six.

Page Six reported Stephanopoulos has been unhappy with the recent exits of Josh Elliott and Sam Champion, currently leaving him as the only male host on the show. The report also suggests his displeasure with the “softer” direction of the show, and that he desires more serious news programming on “GMA.” Stephanopoulos is signed through the end of 2014.

The ABC morning broadcast recently won its sixth quarter in a row in both total and demo viewers. Stephanopoulos has also scaled back his “This Week” hosting duties, decreasing from hosting three times a month down to two.

Cynthia McFadden Says Good Morning to ‘Today’

A week after signing off ABC News, Cynthia McFadden made her first appearance on NBC News. McFadden, NBC’s senior legal and investigative correspondent, was on the “Today” show talking about the Oscar Pistorius trial. “Cynthia McFadden, good morning and welcome to NBC,” Savannah Guthrie said. “It’s a pleasure to be here, Savannah,” McFadden replied.

McFadden, who spent 20 years at ABC, is one of three high-profile ABC News talent hired away by NBC in the last few months: Sam Champion joined the Weather Channel in December and Josh Elliott jumped to NBC Sports last week.

Josh Elliott’s ‘GMA’ Good-Bye, Without Josh Elliott

ElliottTMADuring a conference call with reporters yesterday, the newest member of the NBC Sports team Josh Elliott was asked if he was going to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” one last time to say good-bye to viewers. “Those sorts of decisions aren’t mine to make,” Elliott said. This morning the decision was made. Just before the end of “GMA,” Robin Roberts introduced a 3-minute taped piece (after the jump) that looked back “on some of our favorite Josh moments.” Elliott was not present.

If you’re keeping score at home, Elliott’s final appearance on “GMA” was Friday, filling in for George Stephanopoulos. His last interview was with the cast of the film “Cesar Chavez.” It’ll be 6 months, at least, before Elliott can turn up on “GMA’s” rival the “Today” show. His first NBC Sports assignment is the Kentucky Derby. So watch the “Today” show closely on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 for any possible drop-ins.

Sam Champion was on set for his “GMA” send-off December 4. Six weeks later he dropped by “Today.”

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Sam Champion: ‘NBC Sports is a Great Opportunity for Josh’s Heart’

ChampionElliottOn his Weather Channel show this morning, Sam Champion commented on Josh Elliott‘s departure from “Good Morning America.”

“He’s a great guy and a very good friend,” said Champion of his former ABC News colleague. “What folks need to understand is just like The Weather Channel was an incredible opportunity for my heart, NBC Sports is a great opportunity for Josh’s heart.”

As we reported last night, Elliott, who has been with “GMA” for three years, will be leaving the network this week and joining NBC Sports. Champion left “GMA” for the Weather Channel in December.

“I know that fans of ‘GMA’ are not loving it. But it’s a happy day for Josh. And folks will follow him no matter where he goes.”

WATCH:

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Josh Elliott Leaving ‘Good Morning America’ for NBC Sports

Breaking: ElliottJosh Elliott is leaving “Good Morning America” and joining NBC Sports. Elliott’s jump to NBC and a return to sports, comes at the end of intense contract negotiations with ABC News. Elliott will work on most high-profile NBC Sports programs including “Sunday Night Football,” NBC Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing. NBC is expected to reveal more later this week.

Elliott joined ABC from ESPN three years ago this month. A year after he joined the ABC morning show, “GMA” topped NBC’s “Today” for the first time in 16 years. “GMA” has been the most-watched morning show since.

Elliott’s departure for NBC comes three months after his colleague Sam Champion left “GMA” for the Weather Channel, which is co-owned and has a broadcast partnership with NBC. Champion has already made appearances on “Today.”

In a note to his staff, Disney/ABC co-president Ben Sherwood writes, “In good faith, we worked hard to close a significant gap between our generous offer and his expectations. In the end, Josh felt he deserved a different deal and so he chose a new path.” Sources tells TVNewser, Elliott was seeking up to $10 million from ABC. The network offered $5 million. Elliott emailed Sherwood around 6pm tonight to tell him he was taking the NBC Sports job.

This is the second high-profile ABC-to-NBC move in less than a week. On Thursday, Cynthia McFadden, who spent 20 years at ABC announced she was joining NBC News’s investigative unit. She signed off “Nightline” Friday night. Elliott will get a “GMA” send-off later this week.

Late last week, ABC News re-signed co-host Lara Spencer to the show. A few days earlier Disney promoted Sherwood from ABC News president to co-president of the Disney/ABC TV group.

Lara Spencer to Stay with ‘GMA’

LaraSpencerLara Spencer has re-signed with ABC News. Her contract was due to expire in May.

“This was a simple decision,” Spencer said in a statement. “I love what I do and I adore the people I work with. I am thrilled to be on this team and look forward to many more years.”

The show has seen the contracts of four of its five main talent come due around the same time. Sam Champion left the show in December and joined the Weather Channel. Robin Roberts re-signed with “GMA” a few week later. Josh Elliott is currently in negotiations with ABC, but could bolt for a better offer elsewhere.

Elliott joined “GMA” three years ago this month; Spencer followed two months later. A year later, “GMA” had beaten NBC’s “Today” show in the ratings for the first time in 16 years.

Spencer has been with ABC on and off since 1995, first as a reporter at WABC. She joined “GMA,” the first time in 1999 as national correspondent. “ABC has been her home for a long time, and she’s having a great ride,” a friend of Spencer’s tells TVNewser.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

The P.M. Ticker: Geist, Offerman, Champion

  • NBC’s Willie Geist will host “Everest Jump Live” on Discovery Channel in May. The two-hour event, produced by NBC’s Peacock Productions, culminates with climber Joby Ogwyn‘s first-of-its-kind wing suit jump from Mt. Everest. Geist will be joined by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore who will track the highly unpredictable weather.

  • Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson on “Parks & Recreation” will headline the 70th Annual Congressional Correspondents dinner June 12 in Washington. The dinner, put on by the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association, will be held at the new Marriott Marquis hotel.

  • Day two of the Weather Channel’s new morning show “AMHQ” with Sam Champion was down from day one. The show averaged 186,000 viewers Tuesday, down -10% from the premiere on Monday and down -21% from the prior four-week average.

Sam Champion’s ‘AMHQ’ Debut Ratings

031714 AMHQ Sam Champion_03The ratings for the premiere of Sam Champion‘s “AMHQ” on The Weather Channel were overcast, to say the least.

“AMHQ” drew 207,000 total viewers and 64,000 A25-54 demo viewers from 7am-10amET, down -12% in viewers and down -14% in the demo from the Weather Channel’s prior four-week average in the timeslot.

The 8amET hour was the most-watched with 240,000 total viewers and 78,000 demo viewers.

By comparison, in the 6am-9am cable timeslot, “Fox & Friends” averaged 1.13M total viewers on Monday; CNN’s “New Day” averaged 452,000, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” averaged 339,000 and HLN’s “Morning Express” brought in 302,000. Meanwhile, Champion’s former show “Good Morning America,” which is the No. 1 morning show in the U.S., delivered 5.77 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.

Sam Champion Debuts on ‘America’s Morning Headquarters’

031714 AMHQ Sam Champion_05Sam Champion debuted as host of “America’s Morning Headquarters” this morning on The Weather Channel, opening the show with a report on Winter Storm Wiley.

Champion gave the latest information on the storm to his his viewers, which had already dropped eight inches of snow on Washington D.C. at the beginning of “AMHQ.”

“Welcome to the airwaves my friend, it’s about time you got on the air,” meteorologist Jim Cantore said to Champion from his live shot in snowy D.C. “We’re looking forward to weeks and months and years of having you on TWC.”

Champion also brought social media into the show, showing weather photos social users sent in on-air.

And the new Managing Editor of The Weather Channel will also be on “The Dr. Oz Show” today. The show’s preview teases a “bombshell” health scare Champion “didn’t see coming.”

“I generally would think of myself as a pretty healthy guy, and so that’s why this kind of thing surprised me,” Champion tells Dr. Oz.

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