Maria Taylor has officially parted ways with ESPN, weeks after a 2020 video leak of her colleague Rachel Nichols eluding to her being a diversity hire.
ESPN released the following statement:
Maria’s remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic. There is no doubt we will miss Maria, but we remain determined to continue to build a deep and skilled talent roster that thoroughly reflects the athletes we cover and the fans we serve. While she chose to pursue a new opportunity, we are proud of the work we’ve done together.
Taylor’s last assignment with ESPN was the NBA Finals telecast on Tuesday.
Reportedly, Maria and ESPN could not come to terms on a new contract.
ESPN offered Taylor nearly $5 million last year, but she chose not to negotiate at the time.
ESPN has been cutting salaries due to the pandemic, but they paid Peyton and Eli Manning handsomely for 10 games a season on an alternative “Monday Night Football” show.
Reportedly, ESPN offered Taylor a raise from $1 million to around $3 million in an effort to keep her at the network. She declined the offer and decided to take her talents elsewhere.
According to sources, Taylor is headed to NBC to potentially cover the Tokyo Olympics, and she may be in line to be a sideline reporter or host on Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football beginning in fall 2022.
Maria Taylor is super talented and she is destined for greatness. Keep your eyes open for her next move.
Nichols will not be considered to replace Taylor as the Finals’ host, according to ESPN sources.
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