samchampionGood Morning America weatherman Sam Champion, who has been with ABC‘s morning program since 2006,  is leaving the network to join the Weather Channel as the host of a new morning show to launch in Q1 2014 and managing editor for the channel. His last day is Wednesday. Champion’s departure comes as GMA has been enjoying a ratings resurgence as the No. 1 morning program. It also comes as the show has been going through contract negotiations with several other members of its anchor team including Robin Roberts, Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer. Is Champion’s departure a precursor for more talent shakeups or will it give his colleagues leverage in their negotiations? “While there is no replacing Sam, we are in excellent hands with his storm chasing partner of the last few years, meteorologist Ginger Zee, who will take over his weather responsibilities at GMA and across ABC News,” ABC News president Ben Sherwood wrote in an internal email. In addition to his role on GMA, Champion was Weather Editor for ABC News.