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Playboy Sees Advertising Rising 40%

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Jul 28, 2004 1:51 PM PDT    Text size: 
CHICAGO — Playboy Enterprises said Wednesday that its monthly men’s magazine is seeing a ramp up of advertising revenue.

The Chicago-based company announced that it expects a 40 percent increase in the number of ad pages in its third quarter. In the first half of 2004, the magazine saw a gain of 25 percent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, which tracks ad volume. In comparison, Maxim's ad pages were down 12 percent.

Playboy, now 50 years old, also announced Wednesday that it has tapped Christopher Napolitano as the magazine’s editorial director.

Prior to his position as Playboy's executive editor, Napolitano served as features editor from 2002 to 2003, senior editor from 1997 to 2002, associate editor from 1994-1997 and began his career with Playboy as an editorial assistant in the fiction department. He has been with Playboy for 16 years.

Napolitano, 40, succeeds James Kaminsky, a former editor of young men's magazine Maxim who stepped down in April to take another role at Playboy after less than two years on the job. Kaminsky oversaw a makeover of the magazine that included a greater focus on shorter pieces and more coverage of technology and gadgets.

"He understands the unique role the magazine has played as the leader in the men's field and is ideally qualified to take advantage of the special opportunities that now present themselves with the new Playboy," said Playboy Founder and Editor-In-Chief Hugh M. Hefner, who is 78 years old.

Two weeks ago, Playboy’s Entertainment Group named Ned Nalle to the newly created position of president of programming.

Playboy has more than 1,500 branded products sold in more than 125 countries. Global retail sales from the licensing division reached nearly $350 million in 2003. And later this year, the company is launching “Playboy: The Mansion,” which will be available in the Xbox and PlayStation 2 formats.

Wall Street analysts predict that the company will report a full-year profit in 2004, the first since it began diversifying from a business focused predominately on magazine publishing to one that emphasized Internet, television and licensing businesses.

The company, which will release second-quarter figures next week, saw its first-quarter net income nearly triple on revenue growth.

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