Maria Taylor, ESPN part ways after failure to agree to contract extension

·2 min read

Maria Taylor's time at ESPN has officially come to an end.

Taylor and the network officially parted ways on Wednesday, releasing a joint statement ending speculation that had run rampant for weeks.

“Maria’s remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic," Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content 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.”

Taylor's last assignment for the worldwide leader was Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

Maria Taylor began hosting "NBA Countdown" in 2019.
Maria Taylor began hosting "NBA Countdown" in 2019.

“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," Taylor said in a statement.

The 34-year-old Taylor began at ESPN working for the SEC Network, covering college sports, eventually working her way up to "College GameDay." She began hosting "NBA Countdown" in 2019.

Multiple media outlets have reported in the past few weeks that NBC was courting Taylor to work on their Olympics and NFL coverage.

Taylor's status with ESPN was in limbo after a July 6 article appeared in The New York Times, when the newspaper obtained the recording of a phone conversation between Rachel Nichols and Adam Mendelsohn, the longtime adviser of the Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

In the conversation, Nichols praised Taylor but also questioned her position at the network because of its not so flattering record with diversity hires.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Maria Taylor, ESPN part ways after failure to agree to extension