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Maria Taylor rapidly heads to NBC after ESPN drama

Maria Taylor and ESPN are divorcing – and she or he is predicted to finish up with NBC and on the Olympics, The Put up has discovered.

Taylor, 34, leaves ESPN simply weeks after a year-old non-public tape of leaked feedback have been reported by the New York Occasions through which fellow NBA host/reporter Rachel Nichols’ alleged ESPN gave Taylor the Finals internet hosting job to make up for what Nichols described because the community’s “crappy longtime document on variety.”

For NBC, if a contract is accomplished, Taylor is predicted to be a part of its forthcoming Olympic protection that begins in earnest on Friday.

Whereas a number of sources mentioned Taylor is headed to NBC, nothing is official but. The highest community spokesman is in Japan for the Olympics and didn’t instantly return messages.

After The Put up broke the information of ESPN and Taylor’s failure to achieve a brand new contract settlement, the community’s chairman Jimmy Pitaro and Taylor launched a joint assertion. Pitaro mentioned, “there is no such thing as a doubt we’ll miss Maria,” including, “Whereas she selected to purse a brand new alternative, we’re happy with the work we’ve accomplished collectively.”

Taylor mentioned she was “So grateful to Jimmy and all of my nice teammates.” She didn’t handle what’s subsequent for her.

If the NBC deal is finalized, she additionally may very well be ready within the on-deck circle to grow to be the host of “Soccer Evening in America,” when Mike Tirico strikes to the full-time “Sunday Evening” Soccer play-by-play place within the fall of 2022. It isn’t absolutely set that Taylor will substitute Tirico, however appears as if it may very well be a possible match. Taylor might even have a job on Notre Dame soccer this season.

Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN for NBC.
Maria Taylor is probably going leaving ESPN for NBC.
NBAE by way of Getty Photos

The Occasions’ story on Nichols and Taylor’s state of affairs got here simply two weeks earlier than Taylor’s contract concluded with ESPN on July 20. ESPN and Taylor made a mini-agreement so she might end out the Finals on Tuesday.

Now, although, she is predicted to go to NBC, leaving ESPN to interchange her on “Faculty Soccer GameDay,” the nationwide championship sideline, NCAA girls’s host and her NBA pregame work. 

Sources mentioned Nichols is not going to be thought of to interchange Taylor because the Finals’ host.

ESPN tried to maintain Taylor, providing a elevate from $1 million to the neighborhood of $3 million, based on sources. 

Final yr, ESPN made a suggestion that might have topped Taylor’s wage at close to $5 million, however Taylor selected to not negotiate on the time. 

With the pandemic, ESPN has been predominantly slicing salaries, although it simply spent massive to herald Peyton and Eli Manning for 10 video games a season on another “Monday Evening Soccer” broadcast. 

With NBC and Amazon planning on partnering on Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Evening Soccer, when it begins within the fall of 2022, Taylor may very well be a part of its unique broadcasts as a sideline reporter or a number. No deal is accomplished with Amazon, although sources say they like Taylor’s work.

After this yr, through which NBC has the Tremendous Bowl, Tirico is anticipated to succeed Al Michaels as NBC’s predominant NFL play-by-player. Michaels’ contract is up after he calls the Tremendous Bowl and he might doubtlessly be Amazon’s lead announcer on its Thursday Evening bundle.

Maria Taylor interviewing Sloane Stephens at the 2019 US Open.
Maria Taylor interviewing Sloane Stephens on the 2019 US Open.
Getty Photos for Mercedes-Benz

In the meantime, Nichols was taken off the NBA Finals’ sideline within the aftermath of the response to her feedback, however has continued to do her afternoon present, “The Bounce.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver questioned why ESPN didn’t deal with the state of affairs earlier, whereas ESPN has defended its document on variety, together with a memo from its chairman, Jimmy Pitaro, to workers that highlighted the corporate’s document and acknowledged that Taylor “earned” her place on the FInals.

Now, Taylor is gone from ESPN, whereas Nichols stays in a diminished function.

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