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Coronavirus May Have Killed Playboy Magazine

Spring 2020 issue will be last of the year, possibly forever
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2020 10:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – It may not be the first casualty that comes to mind in regard to the coronavirus outbreak, but the Spring 2020 issue of Playboy magazine about to hit the stands will be the last one of the year—and maybe ever. Playboy Enterprises CEO Ben Kohn made the surprise announcement Wednesday in an essay at Medium, reports the Guardian. Kohn cited the pandemic's impact on "content production and the supply chain," and he said the crisis was forcing a conversion from print to digital faster than expected. A post at New York Magazine by Christopher Bonanos suggests the spring issue might very well be the last print version of Playboy as we know it.

"It seems unlikely, given the wording of the announcement and the state of print magazine-making, that it will ever return," he writes. Circulation and advertising have been dropping for years, though CEO Kohn doesn't explicitly state that the spring issue will be the finale. "We will move to a digital-first publishing schedule for all of our content including the Playboy Interview, 20Q, the Playboy Advisor, and of course our Playmate pictorials," he writes. He adds that "print is how we began and print will always be a part of who we are," but he also provides a sense of what a revamped print lineup might mean: "We will bring back fresh and innovative printed offerings in a variety of new forms–through special editions, partnerships with the most provocative creators, timely collections, and much more." (Read more Playboy stories.)

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