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Behind the Mic: Maria Taylor Joins NBC Sports; ESPN Retains Neil Everett

29/07/2021

Behind the Mic: Maria Taylor Joins NBC Sports; ESPN Retains Neil Everett By SVG Staff

Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 7:30 am

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Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week's edition, NBC Sports lands the services of Maria Taylor, Neil Everett re-signs with ESPN, and more.

Maria Taylor Joins NBC Sports, Makes Debut at Tokyo Olympics Maria Taylor, whose work has already included many of the biggest events in sports, has joined NBC Sports beginning with the Tokyo Olympics. She comes to NBC Sports after nearly a decade at ABC/ESPN, where she most recently hosted the NBA Finals.

Highlighted by host roles for the Olympics and the NFL - including as a host and contributor for Football Night in America and Super Bowls - Taylor will work across premier NBC Sports properties.

Maria has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team, says Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports. 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.

A graduate of the University of Georgia, Taylor played basketball and was a three-time All-SEC volleyball player. She was also a member of the USA A2 National Volleyball team. Taylor delivered the commencement address at her alma mater in May, marking the 60-year anniversary of the university's integration.

Incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with Pete, Molly, Sam, Fred, and the entire NBC Sports family, says Taylor. 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. And I plan to pay it forward. (NBC Sports)

ESPN Re-Signs SportsCenter Anchors Neil Everett, Ashley Brewer to New Contracts Solidifying the lineup at its Los Angeles Production Center (LAPC), ESPN has re-signed SportsCenter anchors Neil Everett and Ashley Brewer to new contracts to remain with the network. As part of her new deal, Brewer will relocate from ESPN's Connecticut headquarters to Los Angeles.

Everett and Brewer join Stan Verrett, who also recently signed a new deal, and Linda Cohn as anchors based at the LAPC. On a rotating basis, the four will host the 1 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter that originates from Los Angeles and contribute to the 11 p.m. edition that originates from Connecticut. In addition, all will contribute to other digital productions originating from the LAPC, with Cohn continuing her role as host of the nightly (during hockey season) ESPN+ NHL program In the Crease. (ESPN)

SEC Network's Paul Finebaum Signs Multi-Year Contract Extension, Returns to SEC Nation ESPN has reached a multi-year contract extension with SEC Network and ESPN Radio personality Paul Finebaum. Finebaum will continue to contribute across high-profile ESPN and SEC Network programming, including as the host of The Paul Finebaum Show and returning as an analyst on SEC Nation. In addition, The Paul Finebaum Show's popular Finebaum Friday edition will be back on the road this fall.

Complementing his hosting duties on The Paul Finebaum Show and weekly presence on SEC Nation throughout the fall, Finebaum is a valued contributor on a variety of ESPN programming, including Get Up, First Take, SportsCenter, College Football Live and College GameDay. (ESPN)

Fox Sports Adds NFL Quarterback Mark Sanchez to Its Elite NFL Game Talent Roster Fox Sports expands its elite NFL talent roster by signing former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez as a game analyst. Sanchez will also make appearances across FS1's daily studio shows. The 10-year NFL veteran, who led the New York Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Games in his first two pro seasons, embarks on his first season as an NFL game analyst this fall.

Upon announcing his retirement, Sanchez immediately transitioned from the gridiron to one of ABC's prized studio roles alongside Kevin Negandhi and now-Fox NFL analyst Jonathan Vilma. While with ABC/ESPN for two years, Sanchez also contributed to College Football Live, Get Up, and SportsCenter. (Fox Sports)

Former NFL Linebacker and Texas Longhorn Sam Acho Joins ESPN as College Football and NFL Studio Analyst Former University of Texas and NFL linebacker Sam Acho has signed a multi-year deal to join ESPN's comprehensive college football coverage, primarily serving as a lead studio voice on college football Saturdays on ESPN2. Acho will also call select college football matchups this fall.

In addition to his college football duties, which include regular appearances on SportsCenter, Get Up and College Football Live, the Lifetime Longhorn will contribute as an NFL analyst across ESPN studio programming. (ESPN)

SEC Network Hosts Peter Burns, Alyssa Lang & Dari Nowkhah Sign Multi-Year Contract Extensions ESPN has reached multi-year contract extensions with its three SEC Now hosts: Peter Burns, Alyssa Lang and Dari Nowkhah.

Nowkhah and Burns have been anchoring SEC Now since SEC Network's launch in August 2014, with Lang joining the SEC Now desk in fall 2018. The trio hosts the show both in-studio and on-the-road, including several SEC Championships, NCAA Championship events and the conference's annual media days event, SEC Kickoff Presented by Regions. SEC Now is currently on site at this year's event.

Nowkhah joined ESPN in June 2004, hosting SportsCenter, College Football Live and Baseball Tonight before being named a lead host for ESPNU in August 2011. The Tulsa, OK native has been with SEC Network since its launch in August 2014
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2021/07/29/behind-the-mic-maria-taylor-joi...
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