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Sam Champion

Clash Over Tornado Coverage

5/11/2010 5:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion made a cameo appearance on a local Oklahoma newscast this morning -- when he was caught bitching at a news crew on live TV.

Sam Champion
It all went down near the crumbled remains of a local gas station that was knocked over when a tornado hit Oklahoma City yesterday. The crew from KOKH was doing a live shot at the scene, when Champion -- who was setting up to do a shot at the same gas station -- came into frame.

Champion -- clearly pissed that he was being shot by another crew -- started to bark orders to the KOKH crew to get "back" and then shoved his notebook in front of the camera to block the shot.

While the KOKH camera continued to broadcast live from the scene, Champion -- who was once again in the shot -- told the crew, "You know the deal." The KOKH cameraman can be heard saying, "What deal?"

Champion responds, "You know where you're supposed to be ... so be there. It's alright ... it's all good ... so just be there."

Generally, news crews don't shoot outside talent as a professional courtesy -- but it was a live shot at the scene of a disaster.

So the question is ...


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Don't even know who this guy is, I don't watch GMA, but way to take a town's tragedy and make it all about YOU, Sam. You are not the story! doubtful that many people watching the local broadcast would even notice it was him. Don't want to be filmed? stay home. shut up. I'm sure there's unwritten rules yadda yadda yadda, but until they get written, they're not the law so give the local low-paid guys some slack.

1563 days ago

Okie Girl    

OUR community suffered a loss yesterday. Give OUR local news reporters a break Mr. Champion. OUR TV news stations are the ones WARNING US before/during Tornado outbreaks, not you! Instead of showing us your ego, you could have endeared yourself to the Oklahoma community and been gracious. It's a quality that Oklahomans understand, but apparently you do not.

1563 days ago


I live in okc and it did not hit okc. It hit a very small town, for one thing. local news crews always get their space and get things their way. they dealt with it yesterday when it hit and all through the night. f*ck that guy.

1563 days ago


He should have been in Oklahoma City when the tornado was hitting. We lost at least 7 people in this storm and it's only the beginning. He should find another job

1563 days ago


"you know the deal" means basically that the the crew understood the unwritten rules of the game of two crews landing on the scene of a live they should "deal with it!" in other words, they knew where to stand and what to do, so by god, do it. he didn't give a rat's behind who filmed the scene, so long as someone did the job and did it right...the negotiating/re-editing etc, could be done later. it didn't seem that hard to understand. he just meant for SOMEONE to do their JOB and quit nit picking.

1563 days ago


The news is a competitive business. KOKH was interfering with his work, in a manner that was not professional.
He did not lose his temper, he did not have a fit, he did not act like an elitist. He just let them know, this was not their shot, and they knew better.

1563 days ago


from oklahoma city here, first a big FU to this ego ass, second dont come to our state and act a fool, your no better than our guys who dont have fifty assistants waiting on them and a trailer for them to stay warm, stay out of our state ass.

1563 days ago


sam champion showed us his true colors. hes a big mean bully.

1563 days ago


Who the hell says that Sam Champion is the ONLY journalist who is allowed to be there? This was an important story to and for everyone NOT just Mr. Champion and GMA!! He needs to be more respectful of the local news people that are there for crying out loud!

1563 days ago


Y'know - this is really TMZ's fault for blowing this out of proportion. It wasn't a clash and Sam did't bitch. I'm sorry for what happened in OK but if KOKH's film crew acted in a professional manner, they woulda respected the space.

1563 days ago


I don't know what's the big deal that Champion was in the local news' shot. Unless there are some legal issues I don't know of. Not everyone watches GMA and not everyone know who is Cahmpion, so even he is on other network news, so what? I doubt if all viewers noticed. Was his image copyrighted by ABC?

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1563 days ago


@ Jenny - How do you know the local crew asked if they could use the lighting that Sam brought and was told no? Were you actually there?

Personally,I feel that how the scenario went down makes a huge difference in whether Sam was in the right to say what he said. I actually live in Oklahoma and I work one of the local news affiliates. If Sam had his lighting and shot set up and was getting ready to take a live shot then what the local new crew did was over stepping the boundaries of professional courtesy. If they asked and were told that they were not allowed to use that lighting without permission and did then that is also crossing the line. I know it seems silly to some people, not letting someone use your light but all our news stations are corporations who are very particular about the use of their property.

However, if the local crew did not ask and was not told then yeah Sam was being a jerk. But there is no way to know what happened before this scene was filmed. They were in a public space and that space does not belong to any one person or news station. Each crew was trying to deliver the news to the people. What it boils down to - on both sides - is professional courtesy, especially in the time of a disaster!!!

1563 days ago


UGH! I'm sorry but he is one of the closet gay news reporters that don't want to come out of the closet. THere is nothing wrong if you are gay just come out and say it. I've never liked him. He does everything on the show like he "is" the show. Does he even has a degree in meterology or whatever true weather people have. I keep waiting for him to bust out in a broadway tune!

1563 days ago
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