With NBC’s "Today" sinking in the ratings, Matt Lauer has reportedly stepped up his role on the morning show, inserting himself into the show’s key decisions and berating staff for not trying hard enough, reports the New York Post’s Page Six.
Lauer’s new, more assertive role behind the scenes was described as “anchor animal” by NBC sources cited in the story.
The staff has also been banned from mentioning rival "Good Morning America," according to the report. In the past, staff would discuss the high points of segments from rival shows.
Lauer and executive producer Jim Bell have been meeting to come up with ways to boost the show’s ratings. Meanwhile, the program continues to finish behind ABC’s "Good Morning America."
The show is considering hiring "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist, while "The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell" executive producer Izzy Povich could also join the show, the piece notes.
Asked for comment, Lauer said, "Please print this story — it’s the most interesting and dangerous I’ve ever sounded!”
Added Bell: "By the way, I’m the producer of the ‘Today’ show.”