RTL Nederland cancels Astro programming

RTL Nederland said that it is cancelling all of the so called “Astro programming” from its schedule with immediate effect. The broadcaster said it is investigating the way the production company selects and hires its ‘consultants’.

RTL introduced the astrological programming to replace the controversial Call TV programmes late last year. The new programming has already sparked criticism from politicians and consumer organisations.

The cancellation of the live broadcasts, in which people can call for advice from astrologers, follows a broadcast by the TROS TV consumer magazine Radar in which a reporter had no problem being hired as a ‘consultant’.

An interesting note to this story: when the US government started to regulate commercial radio stations in the 1920s, one of the first acts was to ban all broadcasts by astrologers, card readers, wonder doctors and other fortune tellers from the American airwaves. After the measure, these broadcasts moved to cross-the-border broadcasters in Mexico, who used high powered AM transmitters to reach a nighttime audience across the States.