Sam Champion is leaving ABC's "Good Morning America" partly because he and his hubby want to start a family and partly because of his thirst to become a honcho ... ABC sources tell TMZ.
Our sources ... who are extremely familiar with the situation ... say Sam has been chronically unhappy at GMA. We're told he wanted his own show -- badly-- but ABC execs weren't biting.
So, Sam jumped to the Weather Channel (which is co-owned by NBC), where he will anchor the network's new flagship morning show and also serve as managing editor.
Our sources say Sam wanted to be the one who replaced Larry King at CNN and he was shocked when he wasn't tapped. As one source put it, "Sam loves power, and becoming managing editor (of the Weather Channel) gives him that."
Oh, by the way, our NBC sources say Al Roker -- NOT a Sam fan -- is "pissed" his Weather Channel show will be Sam's lead-in.
Another reason Sam bailed from GMA is that he and his husband want kids and the hubby refuses to leave Florida (GMA is in NYC).
We're told Sam will be spending about half his time in Miami so the kids will know his face in person and not just on the tube. As for moolah, we're told its a lateral move. Our sources say Sam was pulling in around $2.5 mil at GMA and he'll be making around the same at the Weather Channel.
$2.5 mil for weather ... now THAT'S making it rain!!!
Jonas Brothers Split
Blame Vague 'Complications'
But Ultimately Say ... ???
10/30/2013 12:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Well the Jonas Brothers finally explained absolutely ... NOTHING about why the band is dunzo during a bizarre GMA interview this morning.
Nick Jonas came closest to breaking down their issues when he acknowledged, "We've had some complications in the group for a long time, without addressing them."
Nick seemed to be talking about disagreements over music -- but it's hard to say for sure since he was so damn evasive!
As we've told you ... Joe Jonas was spotted around Hollywood with a well-known addiction specialist days after the guys pulled the plug on their concert tour. Joe and his bros never addressed that -- though to be fair ... GMA never asked.
Watch the clip Jonas fans ... maybe you can figure out what the hell really happened.
Big Concert Announcement
Desert, Helicopter, 567 Red Bulls
9/16/2013 5:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Britney Spears will spill the beans about her upcoming Vegas spectacular tomorrow, TMZ has learned -- and the announcement itself will be an extravaganza in the middle of nowhere.
We're told Britney will unveil plans for her big new Planet Hollywood show from an undisclosed location in the Mojave desert at around 4AM PT, and it will be broadcast live on "GMA."
It's going to be huge -- 1,350 participants will be bused from Vegas to the desert. And get this ... all attendees must be between 5' and 6' tall ... we don't know why.
As for Brit ... she'll be arriving via helicopter.
All told, we've learned the show announcing the show will cost roughly $100,000 -- including $27,176 to bus all the people (28 buses total), $4,200 for tents, and $5,154 for craft services ... which includes 2,100 bottles of water, coffee, 918 Gatorades, and 567 Red Bulls.
We're told Britney will be performing her new single "Work Bitch," and she'll then blast specifics about her new show that debuts in December. In case you can't wait, we have a bunch of particulars, including what she'll be raking in.
4 AM, huh. Bets on lip-synching anyone?
George Zimmerman's Wife
Who is This Guy?
9/6/2013 5:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Shellie Zimmerman says she never really knew the man she was married to for 6 years -- but one thing she knows for sure ... he's selfish to the core.
George Zimmerman's soon-to-be ex-wife appeared on "Good Morning America" Friday and made it clear there's no love lost.
Shellie has filed for divorce. She wants the 2 dogs and a cut of any judgment George gets in his defamation lawsuit against NBC.
As TMZ first reported, she's getting more than $4k a month from the Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund.
Arrest in ATL Was Just
'One of Those Nights'
5/2/2013 7:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Reese Witherspoon said she and her husband exercised "poor judgment" on the night they were both arrested in Atlanta and says an incident like that will "never happen again."
In her first interview since the arrest in Atlanta on April 19, Reese told George Stephanopoulos of "Good Morning America" that she and hubby Jim Toth had "one too many glasses of wine" at dinner and thought they were "fine to drive."
Clearly they weren't ... and Witherspoon was arrested for disorderly conduct after she mouthed off to the police officer who was arresting her husband for DUI.
As for the infamous "Do you know my name?" ... Reese admitted, "I had no idea what I was saying."
'I Don't Know Any Other Gay Players'
4/30/2013 6:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NBA star Jason Collins -- who instantly became a national symbol as the first openly gay professional athlete currently playing -- says he doesn't know any other gay players in the NBA.
Collins appeared on GMA this morning ... saying he always knew he was gay but fought it hard.
Collins says he was engaged at one point but called it off, because he felt he would be getting married for the wrong reasons -- he felt he was doing it to convince himself that was the life he should lead.
Collins praised the Prez for calling him and voicing support, and also said one of his true heroes is tennis legend Martina Navratilova ... who has been openly gay for years.
Returns to GMA
Welcomed Back by Obamas
2/20/2013 5:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
She's back!!!!! Robin Roberts returned to her anchor chair on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday ... her first day in her old job since undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat a blood disorder.
And the best part -- she was greeted with welcome back messages from Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah and Hillary Clinton!!
With a big ol' smile on her face, Roberts told the audience ... "I have been waiting 174 days to say this: 'Good Morning America.'"
As for the First Family ... Michelle O told Roberts, "Robin, we just want you to know that the whole Obama family, we've been thinking about you and praying for you and rooting for you every step of the way."
Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) last year ... but says she's determined to beat it.
Looks like she's off to a good start.
Returning to 'GMA'
2/7/2013 5:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Robin Roberts is returning to "Good Morning America" after a 5-month leave so she could recover from her bone marrow transplant.
Robin has been battling a rare blood disorder -- myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) -- and has been struggling with the symptoms for a year.
She recently passed the 100-day mark -- an important milestone for bone marrow transplant recipients -- and has been easing her way back into action by showing up at the GMA studio to see how her skin would react to the lights and how she would react to the stress.
Sources close to Robin told us several weeks ago ... she would not be returning until May at the earliest, but apparently her doctors felt her progress exceeded expectations.
ABC now says it's all systems go ... and, by the way, side benefit for ABC -- it's all happening smack in the middle of sweeps.
Testing the Water
for 'GMA' Return
1/24/2013 5:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Robin Roberts returned to the NYC set of "Good Morning America" this morning -- the first time since undergoing a bone marrow transplant surgery -- for a private "GMA" test run to see if she's physically ready to come back to the show.
Just last week, Roberts explained that she would be doing a series of doctor-approved "dry runs" before officially re-joining the show.
"My doctors want me to see how many people I actually come in contact with," Roberts said ... "How my body reacts to the stimulation, that's code word for stress, of being in the studio environment."
She added, "My skin is very sensitive and so we have to see how it reacts to the studio lights. My vision is still a little blurry from the treatment. All of this is getting better day by day so that is the next step."
Last year, 51-year-old Roberts was diagnosed with MDS -- or myelodysplastic syndrome -- a disease of the blood and bone marrow that was once known as preleukemia.
Roberts vowed to return to the show ... and it looks like she's going to keep her promise.
Won't Return to GMA
Til Mid 2013
12/30/2012 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Robin Roberts will not re-join the "Good Morning America" staff until May at the earliest, and more probably June, 2013 ... TMZ has learned.
Multiple sources connected to the show and the anchor tell TMZ ... Robin's medical issues make an earlier return way too risky, because her immune system is extremely weak.
We're told doctors are pleased with her progress and say she's right on schedule, but that schedule puts her on the bench for 5 or 6 months ... something she's not crazy about but realizes is necessary.
Sources at GMA tell us ... the honchos are hoping that Robin can return as early as February, but we know that's not in the cards.
And speaking of cards ... we're told they're coming in by the truckload -- cards, emails, etc, wishing her well. GMA honchos believe Robin's return will boost ratings for the show even higher, which can become problematic for the struggling "Today" show.
'GMA' and 'Today'
Over Lindsay Interview
11/17/2012 6:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lindsay Lohan has triggered a broadcast war, with the folks at "Today" accusing "Good Morning America" of whoring themselves out to score an interview with the actress.
GMA insists they did not agree to all but declare personal questions off limits during Lindsay's interview on Friday ... despite multiple reports to the contrary. And they not-so-obtusely accuse "Today" -- aka the "desperate competitor" -- of leaking the story.
"Today" producers have fired back ... saying the interview was "weak" and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Truth be told ... Rogers and Cowan, Lindsay's P.R. flack, and most other publicists get these shows to limit questions in return for big interviews, even though everyone denies it.
But here's the problem for GMA. They say they did not agree to any conditions and asked the questions they wanted to ask.
Well, the way we see it, that would make them crappy interviewers, because the only personal question they asked Lindsay about was her newly-discovered half-sister. There are a few other questions on the table -- e.g., how do you feel about the fact that you're about to be prosecuted for yet another crime and you'll probably go to jail?
Is News to Me
11/16/2012 7:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
BRAVO! Lindsay Lohan's such a brilliant actress ... she nearly convinced the world today that she didn't know about her newly-announced 17-year-old half-sister -- claiming, "I don't pay attention to any of that."
Of course, the news was everywhere yesterday after TMZ broke the story -- Lindsay's dad Michael Lohan took a paternity test for a 17-year-old girl named Ashley ... and the results came back positive.
But today on "Good Morning America" -- where Lindsay was trying to promote her new movie "Liz & Dick" -- she had the audacity to say, "I didn't even hear that."
And we weren't born yesterday ... just like Lindsay's previously-fatherless sister.
on 'Good Morning America'
10/19/2012 3:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
There was no delay, no bleep and cutting away from Tom Hanks this morning on "Good Morning America" as he dropped an F-bomb live on the air ... just seconds before predicting he would.
"GMA" host Elizabeth Vargas asked Hanks to speak in the same accent he does in his new movie, "Cloud Atlas." Hanks said that would be tricky since it's mostly swear words ... and then he proceeded to try ... and cursed anyway!
Hanks apologized profusely, as did Vargas, and Hanks made another (probably) accurate prediction ... that his next appearance on the show will come with a seven second delay.
A rep for ABC tells us the situation was "corrected" for all subsequent feeds of the show.