03/16/1998 at 12:00 AM EST

"Good Morning America" weatherman Spencer Christian, who leaves the show Dec. 18, with local New York weatherman Sam Champion, at least for the weeks of Dec. 21 and 28, and again for two weeks starting Jan. 11. Champion has not been named permanent replacement, though the appointment seems likely. Meanwhile, New York's Daily News reports that tensions backstage at the low-rated program are so fierce that current co-hosts Lisa McRee and Kevin Newman (the latter is expected to be ousted) aren't speaking.

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