The forecast for Wednesday, Dec. 4? Cloudy with a chance of tears. “Good Morning America” said farewell to longtime weatherman Sam Champion today, with an emotional sendoff befitting the veteran forecaster’s 25 years at ABC.
In honor of Champion’s last day, costars Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer, and Josh Elliott showed a montage of clips from the 52-year-old’s tenure with the network. Champion started working for ABC in 1998 and joined the cast of GMA in 2006; he was central to the show’s reporting on Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
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“I love you guys more than I can express. I’ve had the extreme joy, that I don’t think very many people will ever know, of working with your friends and your family,” he said in one clip toward the end of the reel. “This will always be my home.”
His costars were similarly effusive. “You’re so quick. You’re the best to work with. We can throw anything at you — and we often did — and you’d hit it out of the park,” Roberts gushed. “Yeah, we’re sad to see you go. But we’re so happy for you and this next chapter that you’re embarking on, this great new adventure.”
The goodbye was indeed bittersweet. News anchor Elliott was especially emotional, and had to fight back tears as he talked.
Watch the emotional sendoff below:
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“I just want to say thank you. Because it’s been a gift each and every day to work with you, Sam,” he began, his voice shaky. “A lot of people talked about our bromance, and for me it was just a friendship. I promise there’s happy on the inside, but…I’m gonna miss you. You are the best live broadcaster I’ve ever worked with. Thank you for giving the gift to us and to everybody at home, everyday.”
“We love you. We love this guy,” Spencer added. “We wish you the best. We love that smile. Keep doing what you do, big daddy.”
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As previously reported, Champion is leaving GMA to be a host and managing editor at The Weather Channel. Ginger Zee will take over his responsibilities.
“This is a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be,” he said on Wednesday’s broadcast. “Let’s just go to break.”