By Michael Hansberry ( | First Posted: Oct 02, 2012 03:27 PM EDT

Ann Curry and Matt Lauer. (Photo : Reuters)

The "Today" show caused a public backlash when it announced it would be giving Ann Curry's co-hosting spot to Savannah Guthrie. Now, the morning news program is making plans to feature Curry more often in an attempt to boost ratings, exclusively reports.

"Ann Curry reported for the TODAY show on Monday morning from the Syrian border, and she will be featured on a much more routine basis going forward for the TODAY show," a show insider tells Radar. "Ann is truly doing what she loves the most now, reporting from war-torn countries and bringing viewers stories of people that are affected by the destruction in the region."

Matt Lauer has reportedly turned into an "anchor animal" on the show's set due to its falling ratings. For the first time in 15 years, "Today" has fallen behind the light, pop culture-oriented "Good Morning America" in ratings.

Radar reports that Lauer is "sick and tired" of being badmouthed over Curry's termination. The story said "Today" executive producer Jim Bell has publicly taken the fall for the incident, although it was Lauer's idea. It went on to say Lauer wanted Bell to release a statement because he's 'sick of being the punching bag" for what happened with Curry.

"Matt has been the heart and soul of the show for a long, long time, and any of the stuff out that has portrayed him in an unflattering light as being difficult to work with is patently false and it's been tough to deal with," Bell said.

"Any time there is a change, especially in the morning, it takes a while for people to process that change and we're still going through that," Bell said. "That's OK. We understand. We get it. We love our team and we really feel positive about the show we are doing and we are taking the long view here."

 The Associated Press reports that "GMA" has won in ratings consistently since Curry's departure by margins of about 800,000 viewers.

Curry is expected to interview Libyan President Mohammed Magarief on Wednesday.

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