After leaving ESPN, Maria Taylor has a new position as NBC’s new sports correspondent and host.
NBC formally announced Taylor’s hiring during its prime-time Tokyo Olympics show on Friday, which Taylor ― reporting from Tokyo ― appeared in.
In a leaked phone recording obtained by The New York Times, ESPN’s “The Jump” host Rachel Nichols, who is white, suggested that Taylor had been granted the opportunity to host the 2020 NBA Finals pregame and postgame shows because of her race.
"If you need to give her more things to do because you're feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I myself know personally — like, go for it, just find it somewhere else," the recording said,
After the Times published details of the call earlier this month, ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro stressed in a memo to staff that Taylor had been selected for the role “because she earned it.”
Taylor, 34, covered college football, the NFL Draft and the NBA during her eight-year tenure at ESPN. Her last gig with the channel was hosting the NBA finals, ending last week Tuesday.
NBC said in a statement that Taylor, following her Olympics debut, would be covering the NFL ― including hosting NBC’s “Football Night in America” and Super Bowls.
“Maria has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team,” NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement. “We are always looking to improve, and Maria is going to make us better. We are very excited for her to join us right away in Tokyo.”