The Variety story also included details about how Lauer, one of the most powerful and highly paid figures in the often cutthroat morning news landscape, had an office "in a secluded space" and how he had "a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up."
Lauer celebrated his 20th year as the host of Today earlier this year. He got his start on the program in 1997, in the midst of the show's impressive 852 consecutive week period of ratings dominance over its morning news competitors. The show has been increasingly mired in controversy and tabloid stories over the last few years after ABC's Good Morning America bested it in the ratings in 2012.
As detailed in a 2013 New York feature about the show, Lauer was often at the center of the bitter drama with his co-hosts, most notoriously former co-anchor Ann Curry who left the show in 2012. ("The battle lines are now clear," Curry said an interview with People, while declining to specifically comment on Lauer's situation. "We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe.")