CBS Sports Network to debut first sports talk show featuring all women panel in September

Not sure that this will find an audience, but I give CBS Sports Network credit for trying something different.

The show has some of the best in the business, male or female, on the panel. And as someone who teaches sports journalism to many women students at DePaul, I know this kind of show will serve as an inspiration to them.

Here are the details from the release:


CBS Sports will launch WE NEED TO TALK, the first-ever nationally-televised all-female weekly, hour-long sports show, airing in prime time beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30 (10:00 PM, ET) on CBS Sports Network. The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports, and David Berson, President, CBS Sports.

Featuring CBS Sports’ deep roster of talented female journalists, including those who serve in various high profile roles at the CBS Corporation such as THE NFL ON CBS lead reporter, pregame analyst, SEC ON CBS lead reporter and radio host, WE NEED TO TALK brings together these most accomplished women to share their knowledge and opinions by offering a unique perspective of the sports landscape.  The CBS crew will be joined by other prominent women from the sports world including former and current athletes, television and radio personalities, league and team executives and top news and sports journalists from around the country.

“This is a very proud moment for all of us at CBS Sports,” said McManus. “A sports show featuring all women is long overdue and we are thrilled to be able to make television history this fall with the national launch of WE NEED TO TALK.”

“From the moment news of the show spread, the reaction we’ve received has been nothing short of amazing,” said Berson. “We’ve been inundated with notes from women across the industry requesting to join the extraordinary women at CBS Sports to create a fun, unique and informative show for all sports fans.”

Each week, the WE NEED TO TALK panel will feature a core of CBS Sports announcers including Lesley Visser, the highly acclaimed Pro Football Hall of Fame sportscaster in her 40th year covering sports and a trailblazer for women in the industry; Amy Trask, the first female CEO in the National Football League and a contributor for CBS Sports Network’s THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW; Tracy Wolfson, lead reporter for CBS’s NFL and NCAA Tournament coverage; CBS Sports Radio host and veteran television broadcaster Dana Jacobson; and Allie LaForce, lead reporter for the SEC ON CBS.

WE NEED TO TALK also will include multi-Emmy award-winning journalist Andrea Kremer, Chief Correspondent for NFL Network and Correspondent for HBO Sports; Laila Ali, four-time boxing World Champion and daughter of legend Muhammad Ali; four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time WNBA Champion Lisa Leslie; 12-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres; two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time WNBA Champion Swin Cash; four-time Olympic medalist and veteran sports reporter Summer Sanders; and former professional tennis player and First Vice President of the USTA Katrina Adams.

The show will feature high-profile men and women from the Sports, News and Entertainment worlds. CBS THIS MORNING Co-Hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King‎ will appear as guests. Additional guests will be announced as the season progresses.

WE NEED TO TALK will be led by Emmy Award-winning Coordinating Producers Emilie Deutsch and Suzanne Smith, the only woman currently producing or directing NFL games. Amy Salmanson and Julie Keryc will produce with Smith directing.

“This is nothing less than a cultural pivot point,” said Visser. “There are many shows have a woman on, but not one that has a table filled with women. “When I started covering sports in 1974, the credentials often said, ‘No Women or Children in the Press Box.’ Forty years later we are accepted as members of the media, assistant coaches (San Antonio Spurs) college officials and executives.  We have learned to love sports the same way boys and men do – not all of them played the game either. I’m proud to play for CBS.”

“With so many women already working in prominent roles across CBS Sports, it’s a privilege to be a part of this unique project, bringing all their talents and experiences together under one show,” said Smith. “We have an opportunity here to have some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people in our business talk sports, offer opinions and have some fun.”

Each week the show will feature a rotating group of female panelists from within the CBS Corporation and beyond, discussing all the hot topics and the latest news from across the sports landscape including the NFL, MLB, college football and basketball, NBA, NHL, golf, tennis, auto racing and much more.

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