Friday, February 26, 2010

Jimmy Jellinek Profiled in Chicago Magazine

Jimmy Jellinek, the young editorial director of Playboy magazine and chief content officer of Playboy Enterprises, is profiled in a good article by David Bernstein in the current issue of Chicago.

Jellinek's comments in the article back up his pledge when he was named to the editorial directorship of the magazine: reinvigorate the title by returning it to its 1960s and 1970s heyday of being an intelligent journal for men.

His potential for success is downplayed by none other than Mr. Magazine, Samir Husni, but in this case I have to disagree with Husni. If the question is whether or not Playboy can get back its one-time (and only brief) 7 million circulation, then of course not. But, as we saw recently, the magazine is able to make a profit, and it has done so through a combination of brutal cost cutting, outsourcing, combining two issues, and adding that Jellinek formula. I think he's deserving of respect; the magazine of late has actually been worth reading, worth saving, and worth anticipating (and I'm gay, so let's just skip the cliched "read it for the articles" line -- people have always done so).

The article is worth checking out because it also gives some interesting insight into Jellinek's CCO duties, rejecting ideas for magazine features or cable TV programs that are off-base. At least in the examples given in the article, he uses good judgement.

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