Inside Channel Seven’s controversial decision to add horoscopes to the news

“It is a radical thing to do within the context of a news service."

A recent media report has revealed that Seven News boss Anthony De Ceglie is planning to introduce horoscopes to bulletins.

Reports state that the network plans to introduce astrologer Natasha Weber, known as ‘AstroTash’, who will deliver a horoscope segment during the 6 pm bulletins.

Weber is set to produce a brief 20-second presentation, which will air after the weather forecast and will be mostly visual, by way of an infographic.

Though not clear if this new segment will air in all Australian states, showbiz reporter Peter Ford told 6PR today, “It literally goes for 20 seconds. There are three slides, I think there are four star signs on each slide. You’ve got to be pretty quick to read it, actually.”

“It is a radical thing to do within the context of a news service,” he added.

nathasha weber instagram videos reading horosocopes
Weber has amassed quite a following on social media, reaching close to 80,000 followers on Instagram. (Credit: Instagram)

What is the controversy?

Since the decision to introduce astrology reports to the evening news broadcast was revealed, commentators and rival media outlets have had a lot to say.

This move is seen as unconventional for the typically hard-hitting news format, with some going as far as to declare astrology as “stupid”.

Radio host Tom Elliot dished his opinion on the matter while speaking on 3AW Melbourne: “Astrology? In the news? It is not science. It is not fact,” Elliot said.

“It is a rather stupid set of beliefs that people cling to because they say, ‘Oh I’m a Capricorn and it describes my life’. We all know in our heart of hearts astrology is a load of rubbish.

“I’m astonished when I meet people who are otherwise rational who believe in astrology, who believe that the position of distant stars and planets on the day you were born somehow influences the type of person that you are.

“It’s rubbish, but Channel Seven wants to make it a part of the news.”

Weber has presented on the broadcaster’s post-breakfast The Morning Show(Credit: Channel Seven)

Former Channel Seven director Steve Carey has also revealed he is skeptical about the decision, telling 3AW, “My firm view is brand reputation and trust are the cornerstones of news, and when you mess with that, you mess with the formula, so there’s a huge risk involved in this.”

“On the flip side, you’ve got an hour of news, and news shouldn’t be all heavy, we’ve got so much heavy news at the moment, so sometimes putting it after weather isn’t really such a bad thing.

“For me, personally, I’d rather have more issues-based reporting. Crime, cost of living. So while I see where they’re going with it, I don’t know that experimenting with 6 pm main line news which sets up your whole evening bulletin and viewership is the way to go.”

What have Channel Seven said?

Channel Seven has defended its decision following the significant backlash. In a statement to, De Ceglie said he and his team were in the midst of “exploring new ideas and concepts.”

“We are incredibly proud of the groundbreaking and quality journalism that 7NEWS produces every single bulletin,” De Ceglie said.

“We’re exploring new ideas and concepts to bring in new audiences so that we can showcase them this journalism.

“We’re not going to be afraid to innovate and we’re only just getting started.

“One thing that will never change is our absolute commitment to telling the stories that matter to our viewers.”

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