Playboy returns to nudity in new issue

Playboy is bringing nudity back. After the men’s lifestyle magazine stopped featuring nude pictorials in 2015, the nude shots are making a comeback with Playboy’s March/April 2017 issue featuring topless Playmate Elizabeth Elam as Miss March 2017, along with the headline “Naked is normal.” “I’ll be the first to admit that the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but nudity was never the problem because nudity isn’t a problem,” Playboy’s Chief Creative Officer Cooper Hefner said in a statement. “Today we’re taking our identity back and reclaiming who we are.” Cooper Hefner, the 25-year-old son of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, shared the message on Twitter and it was also shared by the offiical Playboy account. “This is a remarkably special moment personally and professionally that I get to share this issue of Playboy magazine with my Dad, as well as with readers,” he stated. “It is a reflection of how the brand can best connect with my generation and generations to come.” In addition to Playboy returning with nude pictorials, the publication also reinstated the “Party Jokes” feature, which serves to “provide a quick beat of humor and celebrates the playful side of the brand.” Cooper Hefner also brought back “The Playboy Philosophy” with a column penned nearly 40 years after his father’s last installment in the 1960s. He said it is meant to explore “the current political and cultural climate in the US.” One thing Playboy did eliminate with the latest issue is the phrase “Entertainment for Men” from the cover. “Playboy will always be a lifestyle brand focused on men’s interests, but as gender roles continue to evolve in society, so will we,” explained Cooper. The new issue also featured pictorials of April Playmate Nina Daniele and Scarlett Byrne, who also wrote an essay “on the importance of owning female sexuality” as well as “the double standards that still exist between women and men.” Playboy’s March/April 2017 issue is available for download on the Playboy website and will hit newsstands nationwide on February 28th.

Excellent news for Playboy fans…with one minor disappointment; the removal of the phrase on the cover since it’s inception back in 1953 (and Marilyn Monroe was the cover, and was the firt centerfold gal) … “Entertainment for Men.”  Playboy has been exclusively a magazine geared at men.  But, for reasons clearly based in political correctness, Hef’s kid decided to pull that iconic phrase so as to pander to a VERY small market that would even consider buying the magazine.  Hey Cooper!  Be a man, and put the phrase back on the cover, and pander to your base demographic; men.

Playboy Club to reopen in New York City after 30 years

The world’s most famous Bunnies are coming back to the Big Apple. A revamped Playboy Lounge and Supper Club is making a return to New York City after 30 years in midtown Manhattan’s new Cachet Boutique hotel slated to open later this year. The newly designed space will feature a lounge, game room, full-service dining room, and plenty of Playboy Bunny servers, hostesses and cocktail waitresses. The original chain of Clubs, which operated in dozens of cities between 1960 and 1988, featured waitresses chosen via auditions. The women wore “bunny suits” — complete with the iconic strapless corset teddy, bunny ears, a collar, cuffs and a fluffy cottontail– inspired by the tuxedo-clad Playboy rabbit mascot. “The reintroduction of the Playboy Club to New York City is a huge milestone for us as we continue to reinvent our brand for new audiences all around the world,” Valerie Golson, Playboy’s Vice President of Gaming and Location Based Entertainment said in a statement. Golson also confirmed that the entertainment enterprise is opening a new Playboy Club with Cachet in Shanghai, China this March. In addition to the Playboy Club, New York’s first Cachet Boutique hotel will feature 107 “design-led rooms,” wellness areas, an additional restaurant, outdoor event space, and a rarity in the concrete jungle– an outdoor Jacuzzi. The city’s original Playboy Club opened in Manhattan in 1962 and operated until 1986 before closing its doors. Several U.S. cities, including Las Vegas, have tried reopening Playboy clubs since the early 2000s. Today, there are Playboy Clubs in London, Hanoi, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai, as well as a beer garden in Pune, India, and a café in Bangkok, Thailand.



Playboy Mansion’s Neighbor to Buy the Property

The Playboy mansion, a stately 1927 manor in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Holmby Hills, is in contract to be sold to a financier who owns the adjacent property, according to a representative for the buyer. The mansion was listed for $200 million by broker Mauricio Umansky of the Agency, as well as Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland. The sale price couldn’t immediately be determined. Messrs. Umansky and Fenton declined to comment, and Mr. Gold couldn’t immediately be reached. A Playboy spokesman confirmed that the mansion is in contract but declined to provide further details. The buyer, Daren Metropoulos, a principal at private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co., lives in the house next door, which he purchased from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in 2009 for $18 million. He is passionate about the neighborhood’s architecture, a representative said. “The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege,” Mr. Metropoulos said. According to the terms of the sale, Mr. Hefner has the right to remain in the mansion for the rest of his life. After Mr. Hefner’s tenancy ends, Mr. Metropoulos intends to connect the two estates into a combined 7.3-acre compound, the representative said. The roughly 20,000-square-foot Playboy mansion has 29 rooms, including 12 bedrooms, on 5 acres, according to the sales listing. It is one of the few private residences in Los Angeles with a zoo license, the listing says. Playboy Enterprises acquired the property in 1971 for $1.05 million. Mr. Metropoulos, 32 years old, is the former co-chief executive of Pabst Brewing Company. His firm, along with Apollo Global Management LLC, in 2013 purchased Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, promising to revitalize the brand.

If  you’ve not seen a photo of this famous mansion, click on the text above.  Then expand the view/window.  Wow..

Playboy, old media brands struggle to navigate digital age

Big changes for old media brands made a lot of noise last week. But are these the sounds of growing pains or death rattles? The timing of major developments at the Village Voice, Playboy, Time and Conde Nast leave no doubt that for old-world news organizations, the need for millennial, new-media currency has become more urgent. The news business may be plagued with uncertainty as consumption habits change by the minute and monetization proves slippery, but there’s real opportunity there, as underscored by the mad rush into the space by the likes of Apple, whose latest OS update included the curatorial Apple News; and Reddit, which stepped into the fray with news site Upvoted. With all that in the mix, the most storied brands in the business find themselves embattled on all sides. Some companies have begun to crack the code — like the New York Times, which recently trumpeted the milestone of hitting 1 million digital subscribers — but in general, it’s a puzzle that has no one solution to sustain all news outlets. The sale of the Voice, the additions of Pitchfork to Conde Nast and Hello Giggles to Time, and the changes at Playboy represent very different strategies — and none of them is assured of success. The purchase of the Village Voice, by Pennsylvania newspaper owner Peter Barbey, seems the most familiar story of the three. Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post; John Henry and the Boston Globe; Glen Taylor and the Minneapolis Star Tribune: a Hail Mary purchase by a one-percenter has become downright common among struggling newspapers. In many ways, magnates make the best matches for these companies. The road to viability will be littered with failed experiments before anyone figures out what works. “That’s a lot of expense at the front end, without much potential for recoupment, so deep pockets are a necessity,” noted Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute. The Voice hopes to use its owner’s millions to return to relevance as a national alternative-news brand, beginning by bolstering arts coverage. Barbey, Bezos and his fellow patrons all cite civic value as a major reason to keep these news organizations alive. But whether civic value can be converted into ongoing profits remains to be seen. When the beleaguered Playboy magazine announced it would no longer showcase the nude female form (merely the scantily clad female form), it represented a capitulation to the new world order in a couple of ways. First, it marked an acceptance of the fact that there’s no money in skin anymore, at least not in Playboy’s old-fashioned version of it. “There’s a saying that if you can’t be No. 1 or No. 2 in your field, get out of it,” said media analyst and “Newsonomics” author Ken Doctor. “That’s what Playboy’s doing.” Besides, the explicit material kept Playboy content out of up-and-coming digital distribution platforms like Facebook Instant Articles, Google’s AMP and Snapchat’s Discover. Licensing makes up a huge chunk of the company’s revenue (with 40 percent of its business coming from China), but in stepping away from nudity, Playboy is distancing itself from what made its bunny logo so valuable. And so far, no one quite knows what to expect from a Playboy that you really do read for the articles. Get past the complaints about cool kids selling out to corporate America, and hipster music site Pitchfork’s sale to Conde Nast has clear advantages for both parties. For Pitchfork, the deal will help ensure the survival of a grassroots, independent startup that probably couldn’t have lasted forever on its own. And for Conde Nast, its new buy — the digital successor to old-guard music mags like Rolling Stone and Spin — represents a clear play for the millennial generation, which is on the verge of growing into its spending power (expected to top $200 billion by 2017). Likewise, Time’s acquisition of Zooey Deschanel’s Hello Giggles site will give it valuable access to millennial women. It’s also becoming clear that there’s value in operating as a digital hub for a particular vertical, such as music fans. “In the 21st century media landscape, an outlet that can organize an engaged community of interest has real staying power,” said John Wihbey, a journalism professor at Northeastern U. Factor in NBCU’s investment in BuzzFeed and Axel Springer’s purchase of Business Insider, and the last couple of months seem to have served as a validation of the value of digital news. Now, the challenge will be finding a road to profit in a world where brand-specific websites and apps are increasingly usurped by major news platforms run by giants like Apple and Facebook. “Over time, this could compel the publishers to evolve more into ‘studios’ that focus overwhelmingly on creating IP and look to distribute their content across the most lucrative and attractive third-party platforms, vs. building up their own branded destinations,” said Christopher Vollmer of consultant group Strategy&. In any event, there seems to be gold in the digital content hills — now the Voice, Playboy, Time and Conde Nast just have to figure out how to pan for it.

And, I suspect some will, and some won’t. It’ll be interesting to see who..  Anyway, an excellent assessment of where the media is by Gordon Cox over at Variety.

Playboy to stop publishing nude photos of women

Playboy is getting out of the nudes business. Starting with the March 2016 issue, the iconic men’s magazine, which has been publishing photos of nude women since 1953, will be private-part free. “The political and sexual climate of 1953, the year Hugh Hefner introduced Playboy to the world, bears almost no resemblance to today,” Playboy Enterprises CEO Scott Flanders said in a statement to FOX411. “We are more free to express ourselves politically, sexually and culturally today, and that’s in large part thanks to Hef’s heroic mission to expand those freedoms. We will stay true to those core values with this new vision of Playboy’s future.” The “top-to-bottom redesign” by the company’s Chief Content Officer Cory Jones follows the magazine’s website’s similar move to a “safe-for-work” format, featuring provocative, but not naked, photos of women. Officials acknowledge that Playboy has been witnessing widespread changes. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture,” Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive, told the AP. Playboy said it will “continue to publish sexy, seductive pictorials of the world’s most beautiful women, including its iconic Playmates, all shot by some of today’s most renowned photographers. The magazine will also remain committed to its award-winning mix of long-form journalism, interviews and fiction.” The magazine, which once had a circulation in the millions, now reportedly tops out around 800,000.

Wow..  Never thought I’d read that!  Playboy has been doing nude centerfolds since Marilyn Monroe did the first edition in 1953; 62 years ago!  Then former Jimmy Carter did an interview in the 70s for Playboy…and that element was brought to it.  But, Playboy’s CEO (with Hef’s blessing, of course) understands that with the advent of the internet, and free on-demand porn…they know they have to change what it is they do, and who they cater to.