On Thursday, January 19, Good Morning America fans were shocked to see Sam Champion delivering the weather forecast instead of lead meteorologist Ginger Zee. He previously departed ABC in 2012 to join The Weather Channel, with Ginger being named as his replacement soon after. Keep scrolling to find out more about the weatherman’s GMA return after a long TV hiatus. 

Is Sam Champion Back on ‘GMA’?

Some GMA viewers took to Twitter to express their delight in seeing Sam on the broadcast. The longtime news personality is filling in for Ginger as she recovers from a sickness. That morning, she thanked Sam for stepping in during the episode.

“I have great care but rolling fevers have taken me out — thanks to @SamChampion for filling in today,” the California native tweeted. “Hoping I’ll see you all back on @GMA soon.”

Is Sam Champion Back on ‘GMA’? Meteorologist's TV Return
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While it is unclear when Ginger will return to the show, she did share a photo of her son tending to her with a thermometer and Gatorade at her bedside. The TV personality shares kids Adrian and Miles with her husband, Ben Aaron

Sam’s GMA presence is only temporary, but it’s clear that he has a number of fans who love seeing him on the program. He’s stepped in for Ginger on multiple occasions since leaving his role at The Weather Channel in 2016. In addition to his appearances on the morning TV program, the Dancing With the Stars season 31 alum also anchors Eyewitness News

What Happened to Sam Champion?

At the start of 2023, Sam took a hiatus from TV. The Kentucky-born weather anchor was spending time in Brazil with his husband, Rubem Robierb, where they own a vacation home. While there, the couple made memories on the beach, hung out with their friends and celebrated their 10-year anniversary. 

Once he made his TV return, ABC viewers and his longtime colleague Robin Roberts pointed out his new look. Sam sported facial hair and a longer hairstyle after his romantic getaway. “It took much longer to get ready with all the facial hair and long hair,” he revealed on Instagram in a post about his first day back on TV. Sam woke up at 2 a.m. that day to get ready. 

Robin decided to make a hilarious joke about her pal’s new ‘do. “I got a call from Barney Rubble who wants his hair back,” she told Sam during an ABC broadcast on Monday, January 16, along with making other Flintstone-related jokes. The exchange was all in good fun, with the pair constantly laughing and proving they had great banter.