Playboy at Work

SEX - The day may some day come when Playboy Magazine is no longer viable as a business.

And no, it was not be the feminists (see the links below) or the religious wackos that will shut it down.

No, what I am talking about is one of four possibilities:

#1. Everyone stops buying paper magazines and goes online instead.

#2. Men lose interest in Playboy Magazine's softcore photography and intellectual/alternative articles and stop purchasing magazines.

#3. Other men's magazines will squeeze Playboy out of the running. Magazines like Men's Journal, Maxim, Men's Health, Esquire, GQ, Sports Illustrated, etc.

#4. Hugh Hefner dies and his descendants fight over their inheritance and in the process the magazine either changes beyond recognition or is sliced up between his 4 known children, ex-wives and any illegitimate children that appear after his death.

Some of you may even be able to think of other reasons why Playboy Magazine may cease to be and admittedly this is all hypothetical.

Afterall Playboy is a HUGE international brand name, has tens of millions of loyal readers around the world, and regularly interviews famous personalities both historically and now. It seems highly unlikely that a corporation as big and as profitable as Playboy would lose enough market share to go into financial collapse.

But then again have you seen what has happened to Ford, Chrysler and General Motors lately? Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Playboy's history is one of evolutionary decline. The magazine's initial package of analytical journalism and high-quality literature, artistically crafted nude photographs by photographers like Russ Meyer, innovative design, original artwork by Patrick Nagel and cartoons as Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman (founder of Mad magazine) made it a risque package when it originally hit newsstands in 1953.

The publishing of Playboy empowered the sexual revolution and made the magazine – in spite of and because of its lurid content – an influential voice in contemporary culture for a generation.

The Playboy that adorns the back row of magazine racks today is a slimmer, raunchier shadow of its former self. The 300-page monthly editions are gone. So are the exclusive interviews with world leaders. Subscriptions are down to 2.7 million from 3.2 million a decade ago and 6.6 million at its peak in 1972. The Publishers Information Bureau said ad pages through the September issue were 15.5% lower than a year earlier. Playboy Enterprises Inc. as a whole cut 140 people (17% of its workforce) in 2008, and Hefner's own daughter, Christie, chief executive since 1988, recently announced she would step aside amid growing losses.

So what is the solution? First of all, I think Playboy should get a new CEO/chief editor who can turn the magazine around, bring back the interesting articles, take chances on artists and cartoonists again... and push the magazine from the back of the racks to the front where it can sit beside Esquire and GQ, competing with its real competition instead of the pure smut in the back row.

Bring back the rich editorial content, the insightful articles that incite the mind. In this new era of free internet pornography what people really want and will be willing to pay for is new ideas.

See Also:
A Feminist Overview of Pornography
Feminist Quotes about Pornography
Feminism and Pornography: Sex and Censors
Feminism, Pornography and Censorship

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