Maria Taylor and ESPN Have Officially Parted Ways

ESPN and Maria Taylor are officially parting ways, as both parties jointly announced today that they could not agree on a contract extension.

maria taylor

Image via Getty/Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE

maria taylor

ESPN and Maria Taylor are officially parting ways.

In a joint statement released today, both parties announced that an agreement on a contract extension could not be reached. As a result, Taylor’s final assignment for the network was Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.

According to reports, Taylor is expected to take her talents to NBC, and if a contract is completed, would join the network’s forthcoming Tokyo Olympics coverage. 

“Maria’s remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. “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.”

ESPN & @MariaTaylor jointly announced today that after much discussion, an agreement on a contract extension could not be reached

As a result, her last assignment for ESPN was last night's NBA Finals telecast

Comments from Jimmy Pitaro & Maria Taylor:

— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) July 21, 2021

The news arrives less than a month after the New York Post reported that ESPN offered Taylor a raise from her current $1 million annual salary to nearly $5 million last year, and she declined. Sources told the outlet that the 34-year-old was hoping to be in the “Stephen A. Smith money” neighborhood, which is near $8 million annually. 

Taylor’s exit from ESPN also comes just weeks after the New York Times shared leaked audio of ESPN’s Rachel Nichols saying she was passed over by Taylor for a 2020 NBA Finals gig because the network was  “feeling pressure” about its “crappy longtime record on diversity.”

In the aftermath of the report, Nichols was removed from her sideline reporting job for this year’s NBA Finals. Taylor continued hosting the network’s studio show during the series.

A few days after the story broke, Taylor took to Twitter to in her first public comments directly addressing the matter. 

“During the dark times I always remember that I am in this position to open doors and light the path that others walk down,” Taylor captioned the post. “I’ve taken some punches but that just means I’m still in the fight. Remember to lift as you climb and always KEEP RISING.”

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