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Perkins To Leave GMA

Good Morning America weatherman Tony Perkins will leave the ABC morning show Dec. 2 to return to his former TV station WTTG Washington D.C., putting an end to months of speculation. Perkins will stay with GMA through the key November sweeps ratings period and plans to start at WTTG Jan. 2.

Before joining GMA in 1999, Perkins was weatherman on WTTG’s Fox Morning News from 1993 to 1998 and then spent a year co-anchoring the show. Under his new deal, Perkins will be the weekday weatherman and also contribute other features to the newscast.

“WTTG Fox 5 has been looking for several years for the right opportunity to bring Tony back to Washington, D.C. where his broadcasting career began,” VP and General Manager Duffy Dyer said in a statement. “We have always felt that Tony is a consummate communicator who resonates strongly with viewers.”

In an email to staffers, GMA executive producer Ben Sherwood said: “I want to thank Tony for seven successful, memorable years at ABC News.” When Perkins signs off, he added, “Tony will have been part of the ABC News family for more than 1,750 broadcasts, 3,500 hours of morning television and countless tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards.”

Perkins has been a key member of the GMA team – along with co-anchors Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson – that have turned ABC into a morning contender and have been chipping away at NBC’s Today rating advantage.

"Although it is hard to leave GMA, the show is in a strong position right now, and for many reasons, both professional and personal, this is the right time to move on to a new and exciting chapter of my life,” Perkins said in an note to the GMA staff.

ABC does not have yet an announcement on Perkins' successor. WABC New York meteorologist Sam Champion has been mentioned as a possible contender for the GMA slot, as has GMA weekend weathercaster Marysol Castro.