“WE NEED TO TALK” to be Hosted, Produced and Directed by All Female Team
“WE NEED TO TALK” Debuts Tuesday, Sept. 30 on CBS SPORTS NETWORK in PRIME TIME at 10:00 PM, ET
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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STATEMENTS FROM MEMBERS OF THE “WE NEED TO TALK” TEAM
“I am so honored to be a part of a ground-breaking show that exemplifies knowledge and expertise in the world of sports with some of the most reputable and respected voices in the sports arena. There's no better time than now to express our views as women in the sports world that represent such a large base of athletes and fans.”
“I am thrilled and honored to have a seat at the table for meaningful conversation with so many accomplished women in the sports world.”
“As a passionate sports fan, as well as an athlete, I am excited to be a part of CBS Sports Network's historic sports-focused program hosted entirely by women, especially at a time when the influence of women in sports has evolved to where it is today.”
“I'm excited to be a part of the show. While the buzz may be about this being an all-female sports show, once we start talking, I have no doubt that what we're saying, not the gender of who is saying it, is what will resonate most.”
“When I first heard about the show, my reaction was, ‘finally.’ I applaud CBS for taking this historic step and am flattered and grateful to join the stellar group of women on the CBS roster and beyond. I have known and worked alongside Lesley Visser and Amy Trask for virtually my entire career. It's ironic that over the years we've had so many conversations that start out with, ‘We need to talk about…’ Now we all get to share our knowledge and opinions on the burning issues in sports in this unique new forum.”
“As human beings we have the opportunity everyday to redefine the preconceived standards that others set for us. No one but ourselves can know what we are capable of achieving. This show gives women an opportunity to challenge the status quo and set higher standards for what we can achieve as broadcasters.”
“I am honored to join the CBS Sports family to inspire, entertain and deliver insight on a platform with amazing women doing what we do best – talk sports. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of such a ground-breaking show. Yet we cannot do it alone. We hope to have the support of men and women because it's time, and ‘We Need To Talk!’”
“Sports have always been a huge part of my life and my conversations. It is a thrill and an honor to be a part of this ground-breaking show. I am a competitor at heart, but a true sports fan to my core.”
“Being an Olympic Medalist was a team effort. So I am honored to be a part of CBS Sports’ WE NEED TO TALK cast of iconic women. Being part of a show with some of my broadcasting and sports idols is an honor.”
“I am delighted to be part of this electrifying project. It is certainly fitting that such leading edge programming is being presented by this tremendous network. I look forward to collaborating with the many terrific people who are working on this innovative project, both in front and behind the camera.”
“The sports world is in need of a show like this and there is no better place for it than CBS. I am so excited to be part of this project and working alongside these talented, knowledgeable women as we bring OUR view on all the hot topics in sports.”