As Business Falls Off, Playboy Looks For Buyers
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
And lets set this next business story to music, maestro.
(Soundbite of Cy Coleman's "Playboy's Theme")
INSKEEP: Music for lounge lizards everywhere. That's Cy Coleman's "Playboy's Theme" from the 1960s Playboy TV show. Playboy Enterprises dropped a bombshell earlier this week. By which we mean they made a business announcement, not that they got rid of a model. Its chief executive said the company is open to selling itself or restructuring the flagship adult entertainment magazine. This is NPR's Yuki Noguchi.
YUKI NOGUCHI: In its heyday in the 1960s Rick Edmund says Playboy nailed a profitable formula.
Mr. RICK EDMUND (Media Business Analyst, Pointer Institute): It was a classic package. You know, it had the certain amount of nudity that was, you know, not the most outrageous or risqué thing around, but was more than you'd find in a general interest magazine; but it then had all this whole surrounding of lifestyle features and relatively ambitious content like long interviews and so forth.
NOGUCHI: Edmunds is a media business analyst for the Pointer Institute, a journalism education non profit. Now Playboy faces declines in circulation and advertising and is up against competition from online porn sites. Its cut more than a fifth of its staff and its icon, Hugh Hefner, and more recently his daughter Christie have left the helm. When asked in a conference call whether Playboy up for sell interim Chief Executive Jerome Kern was blunt.
Mr. JEROME KERN (Interim Chief Executive, Playboy Enterprises): Yes, we're willing to listen.
NOGUCHI: That might be for the best, says Edmunds, because does Playboy work without its number one playboy.
Mr. EDMUNDS: I don't know but it does. I think that Hefner himself, and kind of the whole Playboy mansion shtick, is part of the image. And even its little bit of a corny image at this point, you take it all that away, I'm not sure what's there.
Yuki Noguchi, NPR news.
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