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.
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All Sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in its latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.