Editor-in-chief Nicole Caldwell was not immediately available for comment. She was quoted on MediaBistro.com confirming the shuttering of the magazine’s print operation.
Playgirl is owned by Blue Horizon Media, which also owns magazines High Society, Celebrity Skin, Hawk and Cheri, among others.
Formerly known as the Crescent Publishing Group, Blue Horizon was charged by the FTC, in 2000, in a massive Internet credit card fraud case that had ties to organized crime. A settlement in the case required the company and individuals charged to post bonds before they were allowed to market adult material on the Internet.
Founded in 1973, during the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Playgirl was a response to established men’s magazines as the first explicit magazine “for women.” Over the years, however, the magazine garnered a large following among gay men, which went largely unacknowledged until recently.
Starting earlier this year, the magazine began attempts to cater to its gay readership by featuring gay adult stars, and finally “coming out,” so to speak. It could be speculated that with increased competition among gay publications that offer nudity, the print version of Playgirl was unable to sustain its position.
According a to a press release sent by Playgirl, the online magazine will contain more video and photo content, interactive features and would be updated weekly. Playgirl.com’s current member site is priced at $19.95 per month for an online subscription.
Aside from the member site, Playgirl also produces a line of adult DVDs, sex toys and sponsors and all-male dance troupe.