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Weather Channel Shakeup: Sam Champion’s ‘AMHQ’ Senior Executive Producer Being Replaced

Other major changes were announced for the live TV team in a Friday internal memo, which you can read below

The Weather Channel just took a Sharpie to its live TV organizational chart.

Angie Massie, former CNN showrunner for “Rick’s List” and ‘The Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin,” has been named senior executive producer of morning line-up, including Sam Champion’s “AMHQ.” She will replace Scott Warren, who is leaving the organization.

“I know I speak for everyone and especially the ‘AMHQ’ team when I thank Scott for the energy and heart he brought to the launch of ‘AMHQ,'” Nora Zimmett, senior vice president of Programing, said in a Friday internal memo. “His efforts were a key factor in our being able to launch such an ambitious new morning show in just a few short months.”

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Additionally, Jennifer Rigby is leaving the live team, and will become a vice president of Special Projects, where she will report to David Clark.

Also, Tom Lea was named vice president of Newsgathering, Chris Samsury is jumping into the newly-created role of vice president of Talent, while nine-year Weather Channel veteran Howard Sappington has been promoted to vice president of Live Programming.

Also read: Sam Champion’s ‘AMHQ’ Cuts Jobs Just Four Months After Debut

This isn’t the first time since the mid-March launch of “AMHQ” that there has been simultaneous employee turnover. In June, several freelancers were let go from the show, which got off to a slow start.

Champion left ABC News and “Good Morning America” last December for TheWeather Channel.

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For more on Friday’s shakeup, read the full Zimmett memo:

Today I am announcing some changes in the live TV organization. These changes are designed to streamline our organization and make us more effective in how we put weather and storytelling at the center of every aspect of live programming.

Effective immediately, Tom Lea will be taking on a new role as vice president of newsgathering. Over the past six years at The Weather Channel, Tom has developed and managed key talent on the desk and overseen coverage from Sandy to numerous tornado outbreaks and winter storms. He is the first to pitch in during breaking news, doing everything from calling potential guests to deploying crews to tornado-stricken regions. Tom will oversee all assignment editors, field reporters and live crews going forward. He will also oversee the ticker and Jim Proeller’s video team.

Chris Samsury is taking on a newly created role as the vice president of talent. Chris has proven himself a strong leader of our on-camera experts and has won the respect and admiration of the network’s meteorologists and producers. He will now be overseeing all of the OCMs in addition to our experts, as well as the makeup and scheduling teams.

Howard Sappington has been promoted to vice president of live programming. Howard has been with The Weather Channel for nine years and during his tenure has ridden out and provided amazing coverage of tornadoes, hurricanes and winter weather. He has also created and produced long-form programming such as Cantore Stories and our recent string of successful top ten specials. As one of our strongest, most experienced storytellers, Howard will focus on reshaping our programming to focus on the weather stories that matter most to our audience. 

Angie Massie has been promoted to senior executive producer overseeing our morning line-up, including AMHQ. Angie is a veteran show runner who has has created shows at CNN such as Rick’s List and The Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin. Over the past year at TWC she has managed a complete overhaul of our local severe efforts and retooled our live weekend programming to make sure we’re giving our audience the best forecasts and weather stories seven days a week.

Angie, Tom, Chris, and Howard will be our live programming leadership team and each of them will report directly to me. 

Jennifer Rigby will be leaving the live team and taking on a new role reporting directly to David Clark as VP, Special Projects. Jennifer has led the live organization through many changes over the past few years, and has always been there for this team even in its toughest moments. The entire organization is grateful for her enormous contributions.

Also, as part of these changes, Scott Warren will be leaving the organization. I know I speak for everyone and especially the AMHQ team when I thank Scott for the energy and heart he brought to the launch of AMHQ. His efforts were a key factor in our being able to launch such an ambitious new morning show in just a few short months. Please join me in wishing him well in the future. 

Thank you in advance for your help in making these transitions as smooth as possible. We are in a new phase of our development at TWC and change can create confusion and anxiety. I am available to talk to anyone who has concerns as we move toward becoming a better and stronger network.

Nora