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Astrology site lifts one-to-one Web porn techniques

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In 1984, legendary Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie sacked the paper’s astrologer after he was "found to have been recycling predictions… in a letter apocryphally said to have started 'As you will no doubt have foreseen…'"* Fifteen years later, Mackenzie is mixing it up with astrologers again -- but this time he's doing it online, in a venture called World Interactive Television. This is to offer real-time one-to-one astrology consultations, using technology previously seen only in what the FT describes quaintly as the sexual therapy industry, but which most others think of as online pornography. What can we say. This is a brilliant idea. Astrology sells newspapers. It’s sure to sell Web sites. WIT’s astrology site opens for business, Wednesday, because that’s the day considered by an astrologer to be auspicious for a launch. The online astro-staffers will be based in London and hippy trippy Sante Fe, New Mexico. So it seems WIT aims to whip its consultants into 24/7 shape. Mackenzie, currently chief executive of the Sun, is backing World Interactive Television, with WIT chief ececutive Stephen Kirk and Bruce Gyngell, the former chairman of Yorkshire Television and chief executive of TV-AM, the defunct owner of the defunct tabloid breakfast TV station. They are backing the venture to the tune of £1 million. 3i is throwing in another £1 million into the pot for a 25 per cent stake. ® *Stick It Up Your Punter The uncut story of the Sun newspaper -- by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie. ISBN 0-671-01782-9

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