NPR logo 'Playboy' To Stop Publishing Nude Images

'Playboy' To Stop Publishing Nude Images

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner poses for a photograph at his home in Beverly Hills in 2011. i

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner poses for a photograph at his home in Beverly Hills in 2011. Kristian Dowling/AP hide caption

toggle caption Kristian Dowling/AP
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner poses for a photograph at his home in Beverly Hills in 2011.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner poses for a photograph at his home in Beverly Hills in 2011.

Kristian Dowling/AP

Updated 2:45 p.m. ET

As part of a redesign to the magazine that will debut next March, Playboy will stop publishing photos of nude women. Its website stopped featuring nudity in August, and traffic has since increased from 4 million to 16 million users a month, according to Playboy executives.

The magazine's print circulation has suffered since its heyday, plunging from a high of more than 5.5 million readers in 1975 to about 800,000 today, NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports for Newscast.

The magazine has included photos of naked women since its debut in 1953, featuring Marilyn Monroe as the first centerfold. "If you're a man between the ages of 18 and 80, Playboy is meant for you," wrote founder Hugh Hefner in his first editor's letter.

The New York Times reports on the reason for the redesign:

"Its executives admit that Playboy has been overtaken by the changes it pioneered. 'That battle has been fought and won,' said Scott Flanders, the company's chief executive. 'You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it's just passé at this juncture.' "

Editor Cory Jones, who reportedly proposed the change to Hefner, says Playboy will still feature racy photos, including a "Playmate of the Month," but that these images will be of a PG-13 variety.

Jones told the Times, "The 12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me, but it's the right thing to do."

Other content changes include expanded liquor coverage and more of the investigative journalism for which it was once known.

As The New York Times notes:

"A judge once ruled that denying blind people a Braille version of [Playboy] violated their First Amendment rights. It published stories by Margaret Atwood and Haruki Murakami among others, and its interviews have included Malcolm X, Vladimir Nabokov, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter, who admitted that he had lusted in his heart for women other than his wife. Madonna, Sharon Stone and Naomi Campbell posed for the magazine at the peak of their fame. Its best-selling issue, in November of 1972, sold more than seven million copies."

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