After nearly 70 years on newsstands, Playboy magazine might soon be no more
After nearly seven decades, Playboy magazine might be ending its run on newsstands, according to a Fox News report.
The death of founder Hugh Hefner is ushering in a new era for the adult entertainment enterprise, Fox News says. Hefner’s passing at age 91 set in motion a process that will move ownership of the iconic brand out of his family’s hands.
Rizvi Traverse, the controlling shareholder of Playboy Enterprises Inc., is in talks to buy the 35 percent stake in the company Hefner left in trust to his heirs, a source told Fox News. The company also said it is increasing efforts to make money from brand partnerships and licensing deals built around the Playboy brand and bunny logo, with less emphasis on its roots as a print publication.
“We want to focus on what we call the ‘World of Playboy’ which is so much larger than a small, legacy print publication,” Ben Kohn, a managing partner at Rizvi who took over as Playboy Enterprises’ chief executive in May 2016, told Fox News. “We plan to spend 2018 transitioning it from a media business to a brand-management company.”
Hefner’s passing speeded up the transition. Rizvi, which helped him take Playboy private in 2011 in return for control of nearly two-thirds of the company, had agreed to continue publishing its flagship magazine while he remained alive. The deal also granted Hefner some ability to approve or block certain deals, people familiar with the arrangement said.
Those rights don’t pass to his heirs.