Jacqueline Bigar's column, Bigar's Stars, begun in 1991, is syndicated to 200 U.S. newspapers and internationally, so her column is probably familiar to you if you ever pick up a paper. And you likely rate her column "Feh" without even reading it, because it's printed in the same paper that you use to line the birdcage. But Bigar wouldn't have her position if she didn't skillfully tread a very fine line, without fail. Imagine her job. She must write:
- 12 forecasts and a birthday forecast for every day of the year, with no holidays.
- These must be in simple language, and 50 words max, and
- the tone must always be mild, preferably encouraging.
Now, given her workload and the severe restrictions on content, how sharp and accurate would you expect the forecasts to be? About two stars out of five? That's what I give them.
Bigar otherwise keeps a low profile. She is not a Web-celeb, and seems uninterested in keeping up with initial blog and Twitter postings. Her modest-looking website offers consultations ($179), indicating that she has time to do them and could probably use the money. Newspaper astrology serves readers better than a comic strip, yet newspaper editors consider horoscope columns "filler" or "junk entertainment" and pay accordingly.