Industry News

Playboy is Mainstream? And for Sale? Again?


NL-This is the second time in a few months that this story is making the rounds. Could just be another “rumor”, but signs like Christie leaving the company, the mansion holding many parties that were actually “rentals”, a magazine that has plummeted in subscription base and popularity, advertising dollars down, and job downsizing, sure sounds like it’s more than a rumor. Now in the bleak market today, most magazines have had to downsize, so Playboy is not alone in their plight.

I will say that I have not loved Playboy since it came out that they didn’t want to be associated with the adult market. They considered themselves “mainstream” Hence porn stars never showing up in their mag. While they were making a fortune with porn stars on their radio and TV programs, they didn’t want to be associated with them.

I can tell you this from personal experience. When I did a story on video games for Xbiz magazine and contacted Playboy about their game “The Mansion”, they wrote me that Playboy didn’t want to be involved because they didn’t want to be part of a story that would appear in an adult magazine. (I still have that e-mail somewhere). They were very nice and polite and professional and all that, but I hate hypocrites and from what I can tell the only part of their business that is making them good money, is the side they want to hide away.

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Playboy Looking For A Buyer?

Would Hugh Hefner ever sell his bunny-eared empire? Maybe.

The New York Post’s Keith Kelly hears that Playboy Enterprises is looking for a buyer willing to shell out $300 million for the public company.

However, big name buyers like Apollo Capital Partners and Providence Equity Partners haven’t made moves to pick up Playboy Enterprises, most likely because the company’s market capitalization is only around $100 million but they are seeking three times that in order to entice Hef to sell, Kelly said. Not surprisingly, it takes a lot of money to keep the mansion running.

Playboy has been struggling in recent months. In October, the company cut 80 jobs, and then CEO Christie Hefner departed in December. Earlier this year, Playboy moved to Chicago, but that has not quieted rumors about the magazine’s future.
Earlier this month, the company announced more bad news, reporting that print and digital revenues were down 26 percent.

If Playboy Enterprises can’t find any other way to turn their business around, a sale might be just what they need to keep the dream of the Playboy lifestyle alive. But if he can’t find someone to purchase the company, Hef might have to come up with a new “Girls Next Door” just to pay the bills.

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