Only months after the death of Hugh Hefner, Playboy Enterprises Inc. is considering killing the publication of the print magazine. In a new Wall Street Journal report, Playboy is allegedly considering axing its iconic print magazine to focus on brand partnerships and licensing deals.
“We want to focus on what we call the ‘World of Playboy’ which is so much larger than a small, legacy print publication,” said Ben Koh, managing partner of private equity firm Rizvi Traverse and Playboy Enterprises’ chief executive. “We plan to spend 2018 transitioning it from a media business to a brand-management company.” After Hefner died in September, there has been a shift in the company’s ownership from his family to the largest shareholder, private equity firm Rizvi Traverse. Koh told the WSJ that the print magazine is a financial albatross. “Historically, we could justify the [magazine’s] losses because of the marketing value, but you also have to be forward thinking. I’m not sure that print is necessarily the best way to communicate to our consumer going forward.”