Playboy cites coronavirus in decision to end print edition

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Playboy magazine announced that it will be ending its print edition, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.

Playboy’s CEO, Ben Kohn, said the decision to stop printing the magazine had been discussed for some time, but was expedited by the global outbreak.

“As the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic to content production and the supply chain became clearer and clearer, we were forced to accelerate a conversation we’ve been having internally: the question of how to transform our US print product to better suit what consumers want today … [and] engage in a cultural conversation each and every day, rather than just every three months,” Kohn wrote in an open letter on Medium.

“We will move to a digital-first publishing schedule for all of our content including the Playboy Interview, 20Q, the Playboy Advisor and of course our Playmate pictorials,” Kohn explained.

“It’s no surprise that media consumption habits have been changing for some time … [and] our content in its printed form reaches the hands of only a fraction of our fans,” he added.

Playboy had already reduced its publishing schedule to four issues a year.

Print offerings will still be made available in periodic special editions starting in 2021, according to Kohn.

“Print is how we began and print will always be a part of who we are,” he said.

Playboy was launched in 1953 by Hugh Hefner, who died in 2017.

A year prior to his death, Playboy announced it would no longer offer full frontal photos of nude women, arguing that internet pornography had made such photos “passe,” and that a less-risque offering would broaden its advertiser base. The magazine reversed course on the decision in 2017.

The magazine hit its peak in 1972, when its November edition sold more than 7.1 million copies.

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