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CBS Launching “We Need To Talk”

Jason Barrett

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CBS Sports will launch WE NEED TO TALK, the first-ever all-female national weekly sports show, airing in primetime beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30 (10:00-11:00 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 lead reporters on THE NFL ON CBS and SEC ON CBS,  pregame analysts and radio hosts, 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 andSuzanne 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.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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