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Taylor has joined NBC Sports, making her debut for the network during its primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremonies. Taylor, who covered the NBA Finals earlier in the week, was in Tokyo for the Olympics by Friday.
“It is an honor to be a part of this team, and the Olympic legacy,” Taylor said, after being introduced by Mike Tirico.
NBC says Taylor will be a host for its NFL and Olympics coverage, including for Sunday Football Night in America and the network’s Super Bowl coverage. At the Olympics, she will be a correspondent and join Tirico as co-host for the network’s Prime Plus coverage.
“Literally, hosting the Olympics, Football Night in America, and the Super Bowl is what I dreamed of when I started in television – and this would not be possible without standing on the shoulders of all of those who came before me and made this path possible,” Taylor said in a statement. “And I plan to pay it forward.”
The host and reporter, who led ESPN’s pregame show NBA Countdown, departed after the two sides were unable to come to terms on a new contract. Her exit follows a dispute that became public earlier this month involving fellow ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, which spilled into view after leaked audio was published by The New York Times.
The audio, which saw Nichols suggesting that Taylor got a high-profile job as the host of NBA Countdown because ESPN was “feeling pressure about [its] crappy longtime record on diversity,” forced ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro to send a memo to staff at the company addressing the matter.
“We respect and acknowledge there are a variety of feelings about what happened and the actions we took,” Pitaro wrote in the memo. “The details of what took place last year are confidential, nuanced and complicated personnel matters. But understand this — we have a much better story than what you’ve seen this week.”
In the end, NBC will be the beneficiary of the falling out between Taylor and ESPN.
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