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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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I just had to add one more thing as I just now skimmed through the other comments; When we have tornadoes, we rely on the local news to let us know where it is going and when. If they can't get the story out, it puts more lives at greater risk. Like I said before, it doesn't matter who is wrong or right. What matters is getting the story out. Also, quite frankly, if you aren't from around her, you don't know anything about our weather. It is crazy and a lot of times unpredictable. I'd rather hear from someone who lives here or at least in a neighboring state.

1623 days ago


Im also from Oklahoma and Sam can kick rocks all the way back to GMA. What a total a??? H???. He should have smiled and did what ever he could to help the local TY station get there shot and then he could do his .It would only taken a few minutes of his time . GMA should make him apologize on air. FYI A child died in this storm.

1623 days ago


Please send him back to NY. He is an embarrassment to ABC. Seriously what was the point in acting like an a$$ around people who have been working out on scene since the start of this deadly storm..

1623 days ago


Sam might want to learn about what happened to Connie Chung and her attitude, when she came to cover the bombing. Her career never recovered after her demotion.

The local reporters were there before and during the disaster and will be there long after Sam takes his prima donna hiney back to NYC.

Oklahomans are gracious people. There's an understanding among everyone here that you help each other. People work together here and come together. Those may be alien attitudes to the likes of Sam and he may behave how they act elsewhere, but he forgets the first rule of being a visitor...understand the local customs.

1623 days ago


Is this guy for real? I'm from OKC and there are people here who DIED from this tornado and people who need information about what's going on! And then we have some weatherman who thinks he's all that just because he's on GMA (and who I've actually never even seen in my life before today) blocking the shot so no one in OKC can see the damage the tornado caused to our own city??

GMA...if you think the people in OKC are watching you for coverage on this tornado, you're crazy. Just like any city that's just gone through a disaster, we are looking to our own local media who know the area and the weather conditions better than anyone else to keep us informed on what's going on.

Yes, we weren't there, so we don't know the full story of what happened here, but this guy could have shown a little compassion and moved out of the way for five seconds so they could film the damage. It was obvious they weren't trying to film the GMA people...that guy had his back turned in the beginning to where you couldn't even tell who it was and it's clear KOKF was going out of their way to try to avoid filming him, but yet he has to walk into the shot and have a big fit!

Sam, you need a reality's not all about you! If you're still unsure, why don't you go to and you will see that there is no mention of you anywhere on the site because they don't care about you...they care about the safety of the people in our community. We all know that while our local media are still working around to the clock to report on the damage, you're nowhere near OKC right now...just came in to grab a quick shot and throw a fit and are now on to the next spot...hope you're a bit more professional there!

1623 days ago


Although I agree with the comments regarding how the local broadcast should have walked around. Given the situation is what it is, Sam should have used some good ol' manners. There are other ways to convey the same message. Hell, given the fact a we were just under tornado after tornado - if he just laughed it off and waved while while politely re-directing the lost camera crew, I'm sure he would have saved face and no one would have thought twice about the mistake. For someone with so much experience, I'm surprised he didn't have more tact.

1623 days ago


Typical media.

1623 days ago


I've never been angry or rude -- never gotten upset and pushed to get my own way. I always say and do the right thing all of the time.

But if I ever think, say or do anything slightly inappropriate, ever get irritated or upset for 3 seconds -- please let everyone judge me, call me an ahole, a diva, biotch, and a queen.

1623 days ago


they should have thrown gas on him and set him on fire and filmed it

1623 days ago


This guy is a primadonna. The show has got to his head.

1623 days ago


I'm sorry but he is NOT bitching at the crew. TMZ you are grand standing just for a story. Sam was in the right prepping for his spot and news crew was interrupting.

1623 days ago

pat m    

I used to watch GMA faithfully every a.m. Sam seemed like he got a little strange once they broke up the team. He was starting to come off as self important and this just confirms it for me. I don't watch the show anymore. Ever since they changed the dynamics of the core group the show is tedious and boring. Loved George on Sundays....not on this new show. Robin is overpowering and the rest don't even bear mentioning.

1623 days ago


#23, Shawn - Learn how to spell first....."your no better than our guys".

All of you from OK are taking this waaaaay too far. He wasn't personally attacking the residents or being dispresctful to any of you. He was talking to the moronic news crew who was shooting HIM, not the damage. WTF were they trying to capture anyway? They had the camera aimed at nothing but Sam. He didn't go off, he simply reminded them that they knew better.

1623 days ago


That was unbelievably unprofessional of Champion. It's not as if they were "scooping" anything; that news crew was just there doing its job, too, same as GMA's! But rather than just ducking out of their sightlines for 2 moments, he has to TALK TO THEM WHILE THEY'RE SHOOTING??!! That's just grandstanding---though impotent grandstanding---and made him look like a complete and utter little pill. You meaningless peons--you go over there. Go on, now; scat! Don't take footage of the big names such as myself! *gag* Secure, confident people don't have to do such things.

1623 days ago


im from oklahoma city and my state is devastated from the tornados. and yes people did die including a little boy and he has the nerve to worry about himself like that.

ive never even heard of Sam Champion before, and neither has half the country. besides, it was a local crew, not the today show.

you're right, hes a CHAMPION A******. have some respect man. i do know that most if not all of our news stations have helped with the cleanup WHILE they were there shooting video and surveying damage. i doubt he did that!!

this makes me so angry. sometimes its not about the shot, its about the people. thats what makes a good reporter.

1623 days ago
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