Maria Taylor

Bristol, CT – August 17, 2018 – Photo Studio: Portrait of Maria Taylor (Photo by Joe Faraoni/ ESPN Images)

After a lot of discussion over Maria Taylor’s future at ESPN following reports of them offering her much less than they did in 2020, talk around Rachel Nichols’ comments about Taylor being promoted into the NBA Countdown Finals role Nichols had previously been announced in and the internal strife Nichols’ comments led to at ESPN, and reporting on Taylor being at “the half-yard line” on signing a deal with NBC, Taylor has now officially moved on. She previously signed an agreement to stay with ESPN through the end of the NBA Finals, despite that being past her contract’s expiration if the series went seven games. But with those Finals wrapping up Tuesday with the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 6 win, ESPN and Taylor “jointly announced” their parting of ways Wednesday:

Here are those comments:

Comment from Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content
“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.”

Comment from Maria Taylor:
“So thankful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up. Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”

It looks like Taylor’s next stop is likely to be NBC. Nothing there has been officially announced yet, but Kevin Draper of The New York Times wrote that “she is close to signing an agreement with NBC, according to two people familiar with the negotiations who were not authorized to speak about them publicly,” and Andrew Marchand of The New York Post wrote that “While several sources said Taylor is headed to NBC, nothing is official yet.” Marchand added that “For NBC, if a contract is completed, Taylor is expected to be part of its forthcoming Olympic coverage that begins in earnest on Friday.” So while that isn’t fully settled yet, if it gets done, we could see Taylor on the airwaves again quite soon.

[ESPN Press Room, The New York TimesThe New York Post]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.