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CBS to launch all-female sports talk show 'We Need to Talk'

In this June 8, 2014, file photo, Allie

In this June 8, 2014, file photo, Allie LaForce poses during a red carpet event before the Miss USA 2014 pageant in Baton Rouge, La. CBS Sports Network will air an all-women sports show starting next month. The panel will feature a core of CBS Sports announcers: Lesley Visser, Amy Trask, Tracy Wolfson, Dana Jacobson and Allie LaForce. Credit: AP / Jonathan Bachman

There is no shortage of sports talk in 21st century media, but CBS Sports Network will offer a new spin on an old format with the cleverly named "We Need to Talk," which the network is billing as "the first-ever, nationally televised, all-female, weekly hour-long sports show."

That seems like a fair assumption.

The show will premiere at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, and will feature on its regular panel several of CBS' most prominent female voices: Lesley Visser, Tracy Wolfson, Amy Trask, Dana Jacobson and Allie LaForce.

Other contributors will include Andrea Kremer, Lisa Leslie, Dara Torres, Swin Cash, Summer Sanders, Laila Ali and Katrina Adams.

"This is a very proud moment for all of us at CBS Sports," chairman Sean McManus said in a news release.

"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.' "

The coordinating producers are Emilie Deutsch and Suzanne Smith, who directs NFL games for the network. Amy Salmanson and Julie Keryc will produce "We Need to Talk," with Smith serving as director.

"This is nothing less than a cultural pivot point," Visser said in a news release. "There are many shows that 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, 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."

CBS sent statements from other members of the show's panel as well:

Adams: "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."

Ali: "I am thrilled and honored to have a seat at the table for meaningful conversation with so many accomplished women in the sports world."

Cash: "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."

Jacobson: "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."

Kremer: "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."

LaForce: "As human beings we have the opportunity every day 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."

Leslie: "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!'"

Sanders: "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."

Torres: "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."

Trask: "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."

Wolfson: "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."

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