A Champion Weatherman

Good Morning America has named veteran WABC-TV meteorologist Sam Champion as its new weatherman, filling a slot left vacant when Tony Perkins left the ABC morning show in December. Champion starts Sept. 5, along with the show's new executive team.

Over the years, and especially since Perkins' left the show to return to his former TV station in Washington D.C., Champion has regularly pinch-hit as GMA's weatherman. Primarily filling in in Perkins' absence has been GMA features correspondent, Mike Barz.

Champion has spent the past 18 years at New York City's ABC flagship station, WABC-TV, having joined in 1988. Before that, he held weather and news reporting positions at WJKS-TV in Jacksonville, FL and WPSD-TV in Paducah, KY.

Champion's addition is the latest tweak the broadcast is making as it heads into the fall season, hoping to eat into the ratings lead enjoyed morning top dog, NBC's Today show. Yesterday, GMA named Chris Cuomo as its new news anchor. In July, GMA named a new executive team, bringing on former CBS Evening News executive producer Jim Murphy as senior executive producer and upping the show's senior broadcast producer Tom Cibrowski to the role of executive producer.

"Having filled-in on 'GMA' for many years, I have always felt like part of the family," Champion said in a statement. "As I leave WABC-TV, my home for the last 18 years, I want to thank my wonderful colleagues and all the viewers in New York who put their trust in me, day after day, to make sure they were prepared for whatever the weather might hold.I couldn't be more excited to join [GMA anchors] Diane [Sawyer], Robin [Roberts], Chris [Cuomo] and the amazing staff at 'GMA'."