Playboy Plans to Show Less Skin

Even if you read it “for the articles,” some proposed changes to Playboy magazine’s publishing schedule might get you down.

The classiest of all the nudie magazines is considering “radical changes” to its flagship publication because of flaccid profits.  Those changes could include producing the magazine less frequently.

The company, which closed its New York offices on May 1, will begin experimenting with a new publishing schedule almost immediately. They plan to combine their July and August issues into one edition as well as decreasing their advertising rates.

Playboy, like many other print publications is suffering from diminishing readership. Between 2002 and 2008 the company lost about 600,000 readers and their profits are expected to decline 39 percent in this quarter, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Jerome Kern, who became interim chairman and chief executive of Playboy after Christie Hefner, daughter of Hugh, left the helm, said that on top of revamping the publishing schedule, the magazine will also undergo a redesign aimed at bringing in a “younger and fresher look to the magazine,” beginning with the June issue.

The “younger and fresher” redesign could likely spell doom for those 10,000 word feature articles on the likes of Gore Vidal, et. al.,  that so many readers are eager to cite as their reason for cracking the mag open.

All is not lost for the Bunnies, though. Kern thinks that Playboy can turn around its television business, but he's not holding out hope for the famous magazine.

"It is clear that this company cannot continue to sustain significant losses in a business that now comprises less than one-quarter of the company's revenue base," Kern said during the company's quarterly earnings call on Monday.

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