Naked News, Thursday March 26, 2020

Naked News, Thursday March 26, 2020

Welcome, everyone! I’m Frankie Kennedy. Playboy has been one of the world’s most recognizable magazines since its first edition back in 1953. And after years of desperately trying to reinvent itself for the new millennium, the COVID-19 pandemic finally pushed it over the edge. They’ve announced that they’ll be shutting down the magazine, and that the Spring 2020 edition, will be their last. Isabella starts us off today with a look back at the iconic magazine.

The walls of college dorm rooms will never be the same. Since its founding in 1953, Playboy has been a mainstay to millions of Americans. It’s a quintessential success story – started with the help of a loan from Hugh Hefner’s mother, with the first issue produced in Hef’s kitchen, it eventually grew into a multi-billion dollar empire.

Playboy launched with quite a splash, too. Superstar Marilyn Monroe was the very first centerfold, and while the magazine didn’t shoot the pics, they’re indelibly connected.

Playboy developed a cachet that most people wouldn’t have ever expected from a nudie mag. It published fiction from influential writers like Joyce Carol Oates, Saul Bellow, and Kurt Vonnegut. Soon, famous women actually WANTED to be in its pages. At its peak in the early 1970s, it sold more than 7 million copies a month.

But times change, and even Playboy isn’t immune. With the rise of the free content on the internet, images of gorgeous naked women were easier to find, and even more discreetly. In 2016, they tried to pivot to a no-nudity magazine with less stigma. Unsurprisingly, that flopped, and nudity returned in 2017. But circulation continued to fall, and publication was cut to bi-monthly, then quarterly.

Playboy the BRAND is as healthy as ever, with digital video subscribers growing, and products flying off the shelves. But print is dying, and even the brand’s strength could only buy it a few extra breaths. And now, the coronavirus has sealed its fate. The current Spring 2020 issue will be its last for the year.

There are plans to offer special editions and collections in print in 2021, and the international editions will continue. But there’s no more American Playboy Magazine as we knew it. And that truly is a shame. For Naked News, I’m Isabella Rossini.

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