Saturday, February 21, 2009

Playboy for Sale? Not so Fast

So I was correct in suspecting it was just a "since you asked" response and not a move to begin bidding. The Washington Post reports that the company says, well, it's always open to acquisition interest; just nothing's been enough to interest them yet.

Personally, I hope they don't sell, or at least don't sell to the typical MBA-run brand maximization and strategic planning emulsifier (I ran out of business jargon words) who would just as easily turn the magazine into a pornographic rag as turn it into a copy of Esquire. I think Playboy the magazine is on the right track these past few years, and if the new editor's stated desires are followed through, then it'll continue to be a magazine to be proud of.

The Post article notes that people hoping for big change were heartened by the recent exit of CEO Christie Hefner, but now the big "obstacle" that remains is founder/editor Hugh Hefner. (Audio of Christie Hefner addressing The Commonwealth Club.)

Frankly, I'd put more store in the decisions of the man who created a miracle magazine and expanded it into a worldwide brand and movement and symbol of quality than I would trust the trading-desk opinions of some business geek who sees this as another company that can be bought and flipped or torn apart and sold for scrap. But then, I'm a magazine person, so my bias is obvious.

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