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Playboy May Shut Down Magazine to Focus on Other Ventures

Tuesday Jan 2, 2018

Just months after Hugh Hefner's death, reports claim Playboy is considering shutting down its print magazine to focus on profitable partnerships with nightclubs and casinos, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"We want to focus on what we call the 'World of Playboy,' " Ben Kohn, a managing partner at private-equity firm Rizvi Traverse, Playboy's controlling shareholder, told the Wall Street Journal.

He added that Playboy is "so much larger than a small, legacy print publication."

The Daily Mail reports that talks about shutting down the magazine began just days after Hefner's death in September. Rizvi Traverse, which owns a controlling share in the Playboy empire, reportedly said it would only publish the magazine while Hefner was alive. Rizvi Traverse invested $207 million into Playboy Enterprises in 2011 and has a year to buy Hefner's 35% stake in the company.

"We plan to spend 2018 transitioning it from a media business to a brand-management company," Kohn told the Wall Street Journal. "I'm not sure that print is necessarily the best way to communicate to our consumer going forward."

Kohn added the company would focus on equity partnerships, including moving parties from the Playboy mansion to Las Vegas nightclubs. Khon told the Wall Street Journal he expects revenue to grow by 20% in 2018 despite cutting the magazine.

Hefner, who died Sept. 27 at the age of 91, founded Playboy Magazine in 1953 and went on to become a leader in the sexual revolution while promoting gay rights and marriage equality.

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