RSS
Is Playboy irrelevant?
The classic men's magazine confronts the causes of its decline
 

“The clock's ticking on Playboy, folks," said Robin Wauters in TechCrunch. The granddaddy of men's magazines is losing money thanks to the advertising slump, online competition, and other factors. And if anything will seal the monthly print magazine's doom, it's interim CEO Jerome Kern's misguided plan to win back fleeing subscribers by charging more and printing fewer issues per year.

Kern isn't just hiking the $5.99-an-issue price and combining the July and August issues to save printing costs, said Lisa Gutierrez in the Kansas City Star. He's also updating the magazine to "attract young readers."  Playboy playmates may indeed be the next victims of the recession, but the magazine won't give up without a fight.

Playboy's problem runs deeper than printing costs and the ad slump, said Jonathan Berr in Daily Finance. The magazine is battling its own irrelevance, and this fight will be tougher than the ones against feminism and censorship. Playboy was once "the symbol of everything cool and desirable" for young men, but now there is free adult content available on the Internet and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is in his 80s. "The world has changed."

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week