BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Just months after the death of founder Hugh Hefner, Playboy Enterprises is considering whether to shut down its iconic print magazine in the U.S.
Ben Koh, Playboy Enterprise’s CEO and managing partner of private equity firm Rizvi Traverse, told the Wall Street Journal that the Beverly Hills-based company plans to use 2018 to transition away from media and into a brand management. The newly formatted company would focus solely on partnerships and licensing deals.
"Historically, we could justify the [magazine's] losses because of the marketing value, but you also have to be forward-thinking,” Koh said. “I'm not sure that print is necessarily the best way to communicate to our consumer going forward."
Playboy’s U.S. edition has lost up to $7 million annually in recent years, and Hefner reportedly cut a deal with controlling shareholder Rizvi Traverse to keep the magazine going as long as he was alive.
Hefner died in September at age 91.