More and more African-American women are making strides in the media industry. Maria Taylor, a journalist for NBC Sports, is carrying on the tradition of her forebears in her line of work.
Being a woman is an arduous task. Furthermore, what women face daily is something men don’t and really never will. An African-American woman only makes things worse. The situation seems to change drastically in recent years.
Who Is Reporter Maria Taylor?
After serving as a co-host of the prime-time show Football Night in America since 2021, 35-year-old Maria Taylor has taken over as host. “Maria is the perfect choice to carry the legacy forward of anchoring the most-watched studio show in sports,” NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood said in a press release.
Since May 2021, Taylor has hosted the Tokyo Olympics, the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, and the Super Bowl LVI Pregame Show. Adweek named her one of the 2021 Most Powerful Women in Sports. Before taking a position with NBC, Taylor worked at ESPN and SEC Networks. She is currently executive producing an eight-part docuseries about the history of the Black quarterback in the NFL, and viewers will be able to stream it on Peacock.
She Played Volleyball and Basketball
Taylor earned a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Georgia before she entered the field of professional sportscasting. Taylor reported with IMG College at the University of Georgia for three years, and in 2013, she was hired as a sideline reporter for the Saturday night college football telecast on ESPN2.
A former analyst for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show, she joined SEC Network in 2014. Now in 2019, she can be seen presiding over NBA Countdown and Sunday afternoon NBA games on ESPN. Additionally, while attending the University of Georgia, she played volleyball and basketball and became a member of the USA A2 National Volleyball team.
To What End Did Maria Taylor Leave ESPN?
Taylor left ESPN after failing to agree on a contract extension in July 2021. The New York Times said that the separation between Taylor and ESPN happened after sideline reporter Rachel Nichols, who is white, alleged that Taylor was granted the role of reporting at the NBA finals because she is Black. Despite Taylor being ESPN’s rising star, they couldn’t come to a contractual agreement, the Times reported. NBC Sports hired Taylor and her first job would be reporting on the Olympics in Beijing.
In a statement, Taylor expressed her “incredibly excited” about the opportunity. When I first got into television, all I wanted to do was host the Olympics, Football Night in America, and the Super Bowl. I realize now that I am literally standing on the shoulders of giants because of the work of so many people who came before me.
Where Can I Catch Football Night in America?
According to the NBC press release, the sports studio show Football Night in America, which airs the night before Sunday Night Football, has the highest viewership of any sports program. The show will air weekly during the NFL season, both before and after the Sunday night game. Send us your writing, and we’ll pay you! Before each Sunday Night Football game, NBC broadcasts Football Night in America.
Halftime content is also included. It is anticipated that Dungy and Brees will remain on the show as regular cast members alongside Taylor. Since joining NBC last July, Taylor has amassed an impressive list of credits. So far, she has made appearances on the network’s Super Bowl LVI Pregame Show and Olympic and Paralympic coverage show from Tokyo and Beijing.
She has hosted ESPN’s NBA Finals and NFL draught broadcasts in the past. In addition to her hosting duties, Taylor is producing an eight-part documentary series on the history of the African-American quarterback in the National Football League for NBC’s Peacock streaming service. Currently, she serves as the show’s executive producer.