The 1975 Solar Return for Barbara Walters marked the last year of her association with NBC and the Today show. Barbara was being overworked, prevented from taking on a more visible role by the good-old-boy’s network, There were glass ceilings in place in that era for women. In spite of the hard work, the long and early hours, Barbara was making good money. Yet, certain plum assignments and the freedom to choose her own interviews and projects were denied her. Frustration was setting in.
In march of 1976, six months after her 1975 Solar Return, a tennis game was held between Lev Weiss, head of the Morris Agency’s TV Department, and Fred Pierce, President of ABC Television. Weiss had determined that ABC’s rise in the TV ratings would be greatly aided by stealing Barbara Walters from NBC and making her a co-anchor with Harry Reasoner on the evening news. He also determined that $1,000,000 per year would be the salary to offer Barbara as well as the freedom to create and run specials. Nothing happened in the next few days until word leaked out about TV’s new “Million Dollar Baby.” Then great pressure was placed on Barbara to make a decision. In the end, being TV”s first woman co-anchor on prime time news, being able to sleep in the morning and have more time with her child enabled Barbara to reach a decision. The date was April 21, 1976. First, we will look at Barbara’s precession corrected 1975 Solar Return.
s/Saturn @ Asc.; indicates the frustration, delays and hard work to be experienced for much of this year. s/Jupiter @ MC; indicates the opportunities and good fortune that Barbara was seeking to find. Together these two planetary heavies indicate our approach to the “business of life.” Opportunity is sometimes ‘luck’ but is more often a result of work and due-diligence coupled with opportunity. Barbara’s natal Mercury & Mars (the gift of gab) is joined by s/Mercury in the 4th house. Her ‘talk’ (natal Mercury) is joined by other’s talk (solar Mercury). Notice s/Uranus square s/Saturn-Asc., the experience of sudden changes in the status-quo. This is a year of promise. Now, we can look at the April 21st, 1976 daily chart.
Her decision to jump to ABC was made that afternoon in a movie theater while watching Fred Astair (the dancer) and Ginger Rogers (big Hollywood film star and dancer in her own right) — both of whom she had interviewed — with her daughter. She made a call after the movie and felt better about finally making a decision. The past couple of weeks had been brutal, press releases by NBC, bad-mouthing by the old-boys-club, newspaper leaks and opinions had created a New York City buzz-saw of rumour, innuendo, and outright false ‘news’. Life was uncomfortable at NBC, the rites of departure were underwhelming in spite of her decades of work there.
Because of the confusion for Barbara, the timing of her decision was sudden and unexpected, even for her. n/MC was at the IC angle; One’s career is about to take a new start. The Ascendant was midway between n/Uranus and t/Venus; sudden experience of settling (balancing) a bad situation. t/Pluto opposed n/Uranus; personal cognition and decision has a wide social impact (in the TV industry). t/Moon squares t/Sun from the 11th to the 1st; an emotional struggle to become a role model (10th house square). Important to note is t/Venus at the Asc.; popularity, financial gain, happiness — with t/Venus squaring t/Mars; a struggle to regain her poise and sense of self.
This daily chart doesn’t have the tight planet-at-angle contact that I’d like to see. Yet, the turmoil in her life was such that this decision could have been made days earlier. Barbara herself noted that she was heartsick at having to leave NBC and delayed her decision longer than she should have. Dave