Sam Champion, the openly gay weather anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America, is leaving the top-rated show to become the face of the Weather Channel.
His last day will be Wednesday.
It has been great to have a gay man in such a high-profile spot and Sam has only seemed more relaxed and confident since coming out publicly more than a year ago.
Sam writes on Twitter: Only an amazing opportunity like this at @weatherchannel cld take me away from my @ABC family of 25 yrs and @GMA #blessedlife
ABC News President Ben Sherwood provided more details in a note to ABC’s news division this morning: Champion will become the on-air face of the Weather Channel, appearing as a host and serving as managing editor.
‘Sam calls it a once in a lifetime opportunity.’ Sherwood wrote.
Champion joined New York’s powerhouse station WABC in 1988 and GMA in 2006 where he has broadcast more than 1,800 weather forecasts.
The show overtook NBC’s The Today Show in the ratings last year.
Meteorologist Ginger Zee who will take over Champion’s weather responsibilities at GMA and across ABC News.
On Facebook yesterday, director Jim Fall lamented that the the wet boxer short scene (see photo below) with today’s Morning Man, Deniz Akdeniz, was cut from their Lifetime movie Kristin’s Christmas Past.
The film airs Wednesday and Jim assures us we will still enjoy seeing “the hilarious and handsome” Deniz with his clothes on.
Deniz is just 23 and from Australia.
He was nominated for the best actor at the 2010 Inside Film Awards for his role of Homer in the Australian box office hit Tomorrow, When the War Began. He also played the role of Raff in the Disney television production As the Bell Rings.
Adorable British diver Tom Daley posted a deeply personal video on YouTube earlier today with this message: “This has been a hard decision to make, but I wanted you to hear this from me.”
He goes on to tell the world that he is currently in a relationship with a man – his first.
In the video Tom says: “Come spring this year, my life changed. Massively. When I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe. Everything just feels great. That someone is a guy. And it did take me by surprise a little bit. It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen, but it wasn’t until spring this year that something clicked. It felt right.”
Just 19, Tom won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The day is almost over but I did not want it to go by without writing something about World AIDS Day.
It’s held on December 1 each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
While HIV is no longer necessarily a death sentence for those who have access to the life-saving drugs, there still is no cure and that’s something each of us needs to think about before having sex.
Going through the many social media posts about World AIDS Day, two jumped out at me that I want to share with you. The first is from Alison Arngrim, best known as Little House on the Prairie bitch Nellie Olsen.
Alison writes on Facebook: Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day. We lost our beloved Steve Tracy, (“Percival”) to HIV/AIDS on Thanksgiving day, 1986. He spent his last days trying help others with HIV and educate the world about this disease.
Do something positive today in his honor. Get tested, make a donation, check up on a sick friend, or read something to educate yourself further about HIV and AIDS.
David Mixner, once named by Newsweek as the most powerful gay man in America, is an author, political strategist, civil rights activist, public affairs advisor (and so much more). Here are some excerpts from his column posted today on DavidMixner.com:
For years, rarely do I speak of my own journey with HIV/AIDS and the toll it takes on those who are negative. After all, through some miracle, I am healthy and made it through the horror of the 15 years when to have the disease was usually a death sentence. How could one complain when you have been given the gift of life that was taken from so many of my very young friends?
First, let me be very clear.
My behavior was no different from that of my many beloved friends who passed from this horrible scourge. I engaged in what today would be called risky sex since we had no idea at the time that it was risky. Nor am I ashamed of my sense of sexual liberation at the time. The mood of the late 1970′s was one of joy and celebration of our sexuality. The time before HIV/AIDS was a time of coming out and in a tribal way creating a community out of the ashes of oppression.
One by one, week in and week out, our young friends started dying.
For many of us, it was the beginning of our own personal holocaust. Over fifteen years, I lost well over 300 friends (most under 40) and gave at least 90 eulogies in one two year period.
My entire middle age was given to HIV/AIDS, death, devastation and grief. From about 37 to 52, the disease dominated my life. Even in the most dark moments we never lost our sense of humor, our will to live nor our love for our brothers who suffered so much. Nor can I ever forget how quickly the world turned on us when we most needed them. Our government failed totally.
While I realize how grateful I am on World AIDS Day to be breathing it does not wipe out those horrible, horrible years from my life. Although I feel HIV/AIDS stole fifteen years of my life, the fact of the matter is that I was able to witness unbelievable courage, unconditional love and sheer determination in the face of death to be a free human being.
Today is certainly a time for reflection, memory and to finish the uncompleted job of ending HIV/AIDS and finding not just a vaccine but a cure.
Photo: From Left: Peter Scott and David Quarles ( both who died of AIDS), David Mixner and Governor Brown
‘I had become involved with a woman who was my best friend, and, as it happens, a person who is like a godmother to my son.’
The two-time Golden Globe Award nominee for The Cooler and A History of Violence, Maria was also one of the stars of Coyote Ugly, was a cast member of ER throughout its fourth season and starred in a trio of short-lived TV series: Prime Suspect, Touch and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
Before her current relationship with a woman named Clare, Maria writes that she had been involved with a ‘handful of men’ (including TV executive Dan McDermott who is the father of her son) and one woman.
She had a epiphany about Clare one day while sitting in her garden going through old photos and journals.
I came across a black-and-white (photo) of my best friend and me taken on New Year’s Eve. We looked so happy, I couldn’t help but smile. I remembered how we had met two years before; she was sitting in a bar wearing a fedora and speaking in her Zimbabwean accent.
We had an immediate connection but didn’t think of it as romantic or sexual. She was one of the most beautiful, charming, brilliant and funny people I had ever met, but it didn’t occur to me, until that soul-searching moment in my garden, that we could perhaps choose to love each other romantically. What had I been waiting for all of these years? She is the person I like being with the most, the one with whom I am most myself.
Maria decided to share the truth of our relationship with my large, Italian-Polish, “traditional” Philadelphia family: “My father’s response came between puffs of his cigar while we sat on the roof of a casino in Atlantic City. “She’s a good girl, good for you,” he said. My mother and family echoed his sentiments. Maybe they weren’t so traditional after all.”
When she later told her son she was romantic with Clare, she writes that he broke into a huge, warm smile and said: “Mom, love is love, whatever you are.”
Paul Walker was one of the first Morning Men on this blog back on March 29, 2009.
Sadly, he was killed yesterday in a car accident. He was just 40 and leaves behind a 15 year old daughter.
Paul was best known for the Fast & Furious films – the seventh of which is currently in production – but he appeared in many other movies.
I especially loved him in Eight Below, Into the Blue and Joyride.
In August 2011, Paul was again featured on this blog when his commercial for Cool Water debuted. I wrote then:
Sometimes, I don’t think we make enough of a fuss about what a hunk actor Paul Walker is.
I mean sure, we appreciate the star of the Fast and Furious franchise and such hit films as Eight Below and Into the Blue. But when he goes and does something so overtly sexy as this commercial for Cool Water, an even bigger fuss is called for.
Wilson Cruz I once, literally, bumped into Paul Walker at our mutual agent’s office. His beauty stunned me. I gasped. It was obvious. We had to laugh. He was a sweet man. God bless his family and friends. #RIP
Dwayne Johnson @TheRock All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength.. in his light. Love you brother.
Paul Walker was killed this afternoon while riding in the high-performance red Porsche he was pictured next to earlier today.
The car crashed and exploded near a charity event near Santa Clarita that the Fast & Furious star was involved with.
The shocking news was confirmed on Paul’s Facebook page: It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. – #TeamPW
The seventh Fast & Furious film is currently in production. Walker has appeared in all but one of the films in the franchise.
His other films include the Disney hit Eight Below, Into the Blue, Hours, Varsity Blues, Flags of Our Fathers, Timeline and The Lazarus Project.
If you haven’t seen the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles perform, I highly recommend you do.
Their shows are always first-rate and not once over the years have I left feeling anything less than completely satisfied and entertained.
This year, GMCLA presents its annual musical extravaganza, Holiday Spectacular: Festival of Carols! on Dec. 14 or 15.
The group will kick off its 35th Season when it returns to the Alex Theatre (216 N. Brand Boulevard) in Glendale.
Here are the details: This year’s performance will be conducted by GMCLA’s newly-installed Artistic Director, Dr. Joseph Nadeau, who comes to the Chorus following 15 years as the artistic director of Heartland Men’s Chorus in Kansas City.
The Chorus’s very own youth performing ensemble, Outside Voices, which was formed in 2012 and which consists of young LGBTQIA people aged 14-24 who live in the Los Angeles area, will perform alongside the Chorus in some of the numbers.
Such holiday songs as Do You Hear What I Hear? and Carol of the Bells will be performed with a unique GMCLA twist. The ensembles will also perform Variations of Jingle Bells by Mark Hayes, and a production of Sparklejollytwinklejingley from the musical Elf.
There will also be selections from Benjamin Britten’sCeremony of Carols which is significant because the original name for the chorus was Benjamin Britten Singers.
“Though the original name of the Chorus did not last, we are choosing to perform selections from Britten to celebrate his 100th birthday and as a nod to GMCLA history,” said Nadeau. “I’m excited to be kicking off GMCLA’s 35th Season and my tenure with the Chorus in this holiday performance. It means a lot to revisit the Chorus’s history while also being a part of its future.”
For more information about GMCLA, or to become a subscriber, or to purchase tickets to “Holiday Spectacular: A Festival of Carols,” which range from $20 to $75, please visit www.gmcla.org.
Dustin Lance Black posted this photo of himself and director Gus Van Sant in the air – on their way to Russia.
They, of course, are the writer and director of the film Milk and have been joined by the film’s producer, Bruce Cohen on this trip to a film festival in St. Petersburg for a screening of their movie.
Yes, Russia, the country with the anti-gay propaganda law.
The trio will participate in a screening of the film and a Q and A session at St Petersburg’s LGBT Bok o Bok (Side by Side) Film Festival on Saturday to close the festival.
Van Sant, Black and Cohen carried through with their plans to share their film about the late Harvey Milk despite a series of bomb threats that have been made against the festival aimed at disrupting screenings.
Black won an Academy Award for his screenplay for the film.
In the new documentary The Class of 92, David Beckham shares a doozy of a memory: He was forced to masturbate to the photo of a hunky Welsh footballer.
Beckham was new to the Manchester United soccer team 21 years ago and like all newbies, was put through a hazing ritual.
‘The fact that I had to look at Clayton Blackmore’s calendar and do certain things, while looking at Clayton Blackmore…’ Beckham tells Metro. ‘Everyone had an initiation that you had to go through on the youth team, that was one of the most uncomfortable ones.’
‘I was embarrassed when I was saying it on camera let alone talking about it more,’ Beckham says. ‘But it’s something that we all had to go through. It was definitely something I wouldn’t like to go through again!’
That isn’t likely since he is now retired from the sport, hailed as an all-time great, and has more money than God.
Steve Grand: I’d like to wish all of you a very special Thanksgiving! I hope you get a chance to relax a little and spend some time with family and friends. I am so thankful for the people in my life… my family and my friends… and all of you who have touched me with all your love and support. You have changed my life in a beautiful way. Much love and respect and gratitude for you all!
Ellen DeGeneres: Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I’m stuffed, and one of my nieces covered me with silly string. I look like I’m ready for the Macy’s parade.
Bryan Batt: So as Tom and I were driving to my brother’s home for Thanksgiving yesterday, I saw a homeless man while stopped at a red light, being the holiday it was, I reached in my pocket and pulled out a 5 dollar bill, when he came to my window he stared and said…”thanks, hey wait, aren’t you that guy, ‘SAL’ from MAD MEN?” CRAZY!
Shane Bitney Crone: Thanksgiving is a day to count our blessings, and to take a moment to be grateful for the challenges that have helped us learn and grow. The past few years of my life have brought pain and heartache, but also a multitude of positive experiences for which I am beyond grateful.
Today, and everyday, I am thankful for Tom, my supportive parents, loving family, fun friends, and my furry companion, Justin. I am also beyond thankful for the support that you all have given #BridegroomMovie. It’s been a whirlwind of a year, and each day I wake up feeling truly privileged and humbled by this life. I probably don’t say it enough, but I hope each and every one of you know how happy and thankful I am for your love and kindness.
This former boy bander, who publicly confirmed that he is gay in early 2012, turns 44 today!
Jonathan Knight, a member of New Kids on the Block, said when he came out that “I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay!”
He added sarcastically: “Apparently the prerequisite to being a gay public figure is to appear on the cover of a magazine with the caption “I am gay”. I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected!”
Sorry for the light posting so far today – have family here who are providing all kinds of distractions!
But am determined to do a few items!
Especially since I think it’s so cool that Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham is launching a cabaret tour in Australia!
He’s using a crowd funding site to raise the money and there are some nice perks for those who contribute.
The show is called Twists & Turns and is based on Matthew’s autobiography of the same name.
With his ukelele, Mitcham’s musical talents are already known to fans who have seen his various YouTube videos. The stage show will cover the ‘twists and turns and up and downs of his young rollercoaster life,’ according to the fundraising page.
‘Most of you know I’ve been singing and playing with my ukelele for a little while now,’ Mitcham says in a video about the show. ‘But now my hobby has turned into something a little more serious.’
The plan is for the one-hour show to have its world premiere in Australia in February 2014 touring to Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
Today’s very busy Morning Man Max Martini has reportedly just been cast in a supporting role in Fifty Shades of Grey in the role of a bodyguard.
I’d love for him to be MY bodyguard!
The 43-year-old actor is best known for his roles as Corporal Fred Henderson in Saving Private Ryan, Wiley in Level 9, First Sergeant Sid Wojo in The Great Raid, and as Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt on the military television drama, The Unit.
Earlier this year, Max was one of the stars of the film Pacific Rim.