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!!!
'Killed My Show'
11/26/2013 3:55 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin is ripping a high-ranking member of GLAAD, blaming him -- along with a gay blogger ... for getting him 86'd from MSNBC.
Baldwin admits his angry encounter with a photographer is what started trouble -- but still claims he didn't say "c**ksucking f*g" ... and says certain gay rights advocates just jumped on him when they got their shot.
But Baldwin told Gothamist, "You've got the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy -- Rich Ferraro (VP of GLAAD) and (gay blogger) Andrew Sullivan -- they're out there, they've got you."
Baldwin added, "Rich Ferraro, this is probably one of his greatest triumphs. They killed my show."
Ironically, right after the incident, Baldwin gave Ferraro props for informing him that "c**ksucker" was a homophobic slur, and said he would "retire" the word from his vocabulary.
We're guessing the word popped up again in Alec's head when MSNBC axed him.
FIRED FROM MSNBC
11/26/2013 11:32 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin didn't get a Cadillac Eldorado ... he didn't get a set of steak knives ... but he DID just get his ass FIRED from MSNBC.
After the actor went on ANOTHER homophobic tirade earlier this month, the news network has finally decided to cut bait on Baldwin, who hosted the poorly-rated weekly show, "Up Late with Alec Baldwin."
Sources close to the firing say the decision to axe Alec was based, in part, on his recent homophobic outbursts ... when he called a photog a "c**ksucking f*g."
Alec immediately went into damage control mode after the incident -- but it was pathetic -- with the actor trotting out a male hairdresser to vouch for his love of gay people. He also spoke at a conference and professed his platonic love of several fellas.
A rep for MSNBC called the firing "a mutual parting" ... adding, "We wish Alec all the best."
Oh, and if you don't get the opening line of this story -- just watch the clip from "Glengarry Glen Ross." It's actually his finest work.
I've Loved Dudes
... But I'm Definitely Not Gay!
11/21/2013 10:53 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin wants everyone to know ... he's been in love with several men in his life -- at least 3 or 4 -- but he's never wanted to bang them.
Baldwin was a speaker at the Dreamforce 2013 tech conference in San Francisco yesterday -- and in the wake of his homophobic slurs, the actor decided to prove that he's down with man love.
At one point during the conference, Baldwin called out his lawyer, Matt, who was sitting in the stands ... and joked, "I love you ... I love you in THAT WAY."
Baldwin then turned serious ... and went on to explain, "I've loved men in my life. There are some men I've loved in my life as much, if not more, than the women in my life."
He made it clear -- "I don't have a sexual preference for men ... but I've loved men."
"I've been in love wth about 3 or 4 men ... as much, if not more, than any woman I've loved."
Again, he reiterated ... "I don't wanna have a sexual relationship with them."
Good to know.
Alec Baldwin's Daughter
My Dad is NOT a Homophobe!
11/17/2013 7:56 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin's daughter says her dad was wrong for dropping an anti-gay slur this week on a camera guy in NYC ... but it still doesn't make the actor a homophobe.
Ireland Baldwin took to Twitter Saturday afternoon to speak out about the video we posted Thursday of Alec clearly calling a photog a "c**ksucking f*g" ... even though he claims to have said otherwise.
Ireland made her stance clear saying "my dad is far from a homophobe or racist" ... before putting the blame on paparazzi for getting in Alec's grill.
She adds, "Sometimes we let our tempers get the best of us. Tempers are like wildfires. Something or someone can easily fuel the fire."
Ireland also says her dad isn't alone ... and everyone says things they don't mean.
Suspended by MSNBC
Apologizes for Homophobic Rant
11/15/2013 5:01 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin has one less place to rant ... MSNBC suspended the actor from his talk show for hurling homophobic slurs -- and he's finally admitting what he said was "offensive."
Baldwin released a statement saying ... "I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry."
Baldwin's issued his apology after MSNBC announced it was yanking his weekly show off the air tonight and next Friday.
Alec seems to be rationalizing his rage though, saying ... "What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable."
Baldwin originally claimed he yelled, "c**ksucking fathead" ... instead of "c**ksucking f*g" ... while chasing a photographer on Thursday.
In his apology Baldwin concedes, "Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support."
'We Love Him Even More'
...Says Gay Hairstylist
11/15/2013 11:06 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Hard to believe ... but some of Alec Baldwin's gay friends in NYC love him even MORE -- not less -- after hurling his anti-gay slur at a paparazzo yesterday.
Nick Berrios, Baldwin's openly gay hairdresser was on "TMZ Live" and told us he and his friends just love all of Alec's drama ... which sounds just a tad bit cliche.
But you gotta see Nick's response ... when we ask if it's ever OK for anyone to use the f-word.
Trots Out Gay Hairdresser
AM I A HOMOPHOBE???
11/15/2013 9:01 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin just played the, "I have a gay friend" card ... putting his male hairdresser on the spot in front of reporters to vouch for his non-homophobia.
It's shameless, it's desperate ... and quite frankly, it's sad.
It reeks of "dance monkey, dance" ... with Alec asking him straight up -- "Am I a homophobe?"
The guy replied, "Yes, bigtime" ... but it's clear he's joking.
Afterward, we spoke with the hairdresser, who's openly gay, and he told us, "I don’t think he’s homophobic. I don’t at all. Whenever he is in here, we are always talking and cutting hair. He booked an appointment for today, he always does and he is a good tipper.”
The guy says he was not aware of the video of Alec saying c**ksucking f*g" ... but says, "If he did say it … there was probably a good reason behind why.”
Fine, I DID Use a Homophobic Slur
11/15/2013 7:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin is finally admitting (and even apologizing) for spewing a homophobic slur at a photog in NYC yesterday ... but shockingly, the slur he's copping to is NOT the F-bomb.
Late last night, Baldwin went to Twitter and wrote, "Rich Ferraro from @glaad informs me that c'sucker is an anti-gay epithet. In which case I apologize and will retire it from my vocabulary."
Of course, Baldwin's referring to the incident outside of his Manhattan apartment ... when he called a photog a "c**ksucking f*g."
Funny, Alec is ADAMANT the F-word he used was "fathead" and NOT "f*g" ... even though you can hear it clear as day in the footage, which we posted on TMZ.
A rep for GLAAD has also issued a statement ... saying, "Mr. Baldwin can’t lend his support for equality on paper, while degrading gay people in practice. It's clearly time he listens to the calls from so many LGBT people and allies to end this pattern of anti-gay slurs."
7:55 AM PT -- Anderson Cooper has also weighed in ... tweeting, "Wow, Alec Baldwin shows his true colors yet again. How is he going to lie and excuse his anti-gay slurs this time?"
He added, "Just read Alec Baldwin's latest excuses. They are actually so ridiculous they are funny."
I Didn't Say F*g
... I Said Fathead
11/14/2013 2:17 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alec Baldwin is on the Twitter attack, claiming he did NOT call a reporter a "c**ksucking f*g" earlier today ... he called him a "c**ksucking fathead."
Baldwin wrote, "Acoustic analysis proves the word is fathead. Fathead ... Anti-gay slurs are wrong. They not only offend, but threaten hard fought tolerance of LGBT rights."
Watch the video and decide for yourself.
'Family Ties' Mom
One Step Closer
To Gay Marriage
11/11/2013 11:38 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Former "Family Ties" star Meredith Baxter -- who played the mom Elyse on the 80s sitcom -- is now this much closer to tying the knot with her longtime girlfriend ... TMZ has learned, she just got her marriage license.
Sources tell us, Meredith and gf Nancy went to the Beverly Hills courthouse Friday to get the official paperwork to pave the way for their upcoming nuptials.
The wedding date (and wedding details) haven't been announced, but the invites have already been sent to guests -- so it's definitely happening.
FYI, Meredith announced she was a lesbian in 2009 -- after three failed marriages to men.
Dax Shepard & Kristen Bell
WE GOT HITCHED
10/18/2013 12:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Bad news, men everywhere ... Kristen Bell is officially off the market -- TMZ has learned, she and longtime boyfriend Dax Shepard have finally tied the knot.
The couple had a no-frills ceremony at the Beverly Hills County Clerk Office. We're told there was a photographer present, and Kristen was crying.
According to eyewitnesses, Kristen and Dax went to the clerk office just to get their marriage license -- but when a court employee offered to marry them on the spot, they agreed ... and conducted the ceremony in a nearby courtroom.
Not a huge surprise ... Kristen has talked about wanting a courthouse marriage in the past, saying, "I feel like we get enough attention in our daily lives and we just want something sort of private that involves pen and paper."
Kristen famously re-proposed to Dax after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the gay marriage ban in June ... kind of a solidarity thing. Mazel tov!
Soccer Star Abby Wambach
10/8/2013 3:03 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Abby Wambach is officially off the market ... TMZ has learned the Team USA soccer superstar got hitched to her longtime girlfriend this weekend at a fancy resort in Hawaii.
Multiple sources confirm ... Abby and pro soccer player Sarah Huffman swapped "I dos" on Saturday at the Villas at Po'ipu Kai on the island of Kauai.
We're told the ceremony went down at sunset ... right on the beach ... in front of the couple's closest friends and family members.
Sources say it was a very intimate gathering -- attended by several members of the Team USA soccer team, including Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux (see below).
The couple -- and their guests -- spent the past few days doing all sorts of fun activities, including hikes, cliff diving and even a boat trip.