“Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of s–t and came out clean on the other side.”
Maria Taylor is now on the other side of her broadcasting career after her exit from ESPN became official on Wednesday.
After weeks of drama, Taylor and ESPN announced a split on Wednesday after a contract extension could not be agreed on. The 34-year-old departed ESPN after leaked private comments by NBA host Rachel Nichols saying her employer let Taylor host the NBA Finals to rectify the network’s “crappy longtime record on diversity,” The comments were first reported by The New York Times.
Fellow ex-ESPN employee Jemele Hill tweeted a scene from “The Shawshank Redemption” – one where Ellis “Red” Redding is freed from prison – while congratulating Taylor on her exit from the company.
“Congrats Maria Taylor. See you on the other side,” Hill wrote.
Taylor is taking her talents to NBC, according to The Post’s Andrew Marchand. The Alpharetta, Georgia native is expected to participate in Olympic coverage starting as early as this Friday. Her future at the network could involve eventually hosting “Football Night in America” and being a part of Notre Dame broadcasts.
Taylor’s final assignment with ESPN was Tuesday night when she hosted “NBA Countdown” for Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Suns and Bucks.
“So thankful to [ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro] 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,” Taylor said, via ESPN Press Room. “Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”
Added Pitaro: “[Taylor’s] remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic. There is no doubt we will miss [Taylor], 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.”
Hill parted way with ESPN on Sept. 14, 2018, receiving a large buyout for her departure. At the time, Hill said the relationship “had really run its course” after she had made controversial comments about President Trump.
“I’ve been through difficult swings in my career,” Hill said. “It was about the fact that I can’t commit to something that I know isn’t right for me, that I know isn’t going to bring out the best in me and that I know is going to be kind of a waste of time.”