Weather Channel's Sam Champion: 'I love me some Al Roker'
But one thing his new show definitely is not is a rivalry with "Today" weatherman Al Roker, who also has a morning program on the Weather Channel.
"I love me some Al Roker, we've been friends for 25 years," says Champion. "This show that we're launching will go from 7 to 10 [a.m.]; we believe it should start somewhere in March and it's a morning show, heavily concentated on weather. But I can't live without Al Roker and I don't believe you can either." Roker's show, "Wake Up with Al," is staying put in its 5:30-7 a.m. spot.
The idea behind Champion's new program is that it will be a more in-depth view of weather than he was able to provide on "GMA," but it won't be strictly weather. The show will also include daily news stories.
"I can't serve your real questions on how to plan your day in 30 seconds on a morning show, I can't do it. ... This platform allows me to really broaden that out," Champion says. "We're going to hit you with a forecast and all of our experts in those first three or four stories about what is going on in the nation, lots of live coverage. ... [but] I don't want you to have to surf to get the news headlines, to get the business headlines."
In talking about weather as his "hobby," which Champion jokes is sad, the weatherman also offered a few insights into why he got into this business and continues to be passionate about what he does:
- "The people that do this for a living ... at some point in our lives, usually when we were very young, something bad [weather-related] happened to our family and we don't want that to happen to someone else's family. Getting people prepared and helping people afterwards .... I don't take lightly. It's something this channel does better than anyone else."
- "We're a show-and-tell society ... people will venture outside unless you show them a picture and tell them, 'You really shouldn't go outside.' ... I also need to show the aftermath of a storm because a community is going through the worst time in their lives and they need help. They need help from the insurance company, they need help from FEMA. ... It's amazing how quickly people are forgotten in the aftermath of a storm if you don't start telling people how bad it is and just how much they need your help."