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As Business Falls Off, Playboy Looks For Buyers

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As Business Falls Off, Playboy Looks For Buyers

Business

As Business Falls Off, Playboy Looks For Buyers

As Business Falls Off, Playboy Looks For Buyers

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The chief executive of Playboy Enterprises says the company is open to selling itself or restructuring its flagship adult entertainment magazine. Playboy Magazinefaces declines in circulation and advertising. It has cut more than a fifth of its staff.

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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