News Coronavirus Playboy scraps US magazine amid coronavirus pandemic

Playboy scraps US magazine amid coronavirus pandemic

The outbreak of the coronavirus has prompted Playboy to shut down production of its print magazine in the United States. Photo: Getty
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Men’s magazine Playboy is putting the shutters up on its US print edition after nearly seven decades as it reels from disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The iconic magazine has struggled in the digital age, with the coronavirus outbreak sounding the death knell for the magazine’s print division.

The upcoming spring edition will be the last for the magazine, which was renowned not only for its nudity but also interviews, in-depth political coverage and fiction.

Playboy was launched in 1953 by 27-year-old Hugh Hefner, who reportedly left his job as a copywriter at Esquire after he was denied a raise.

The magazine had already been losing money as sales petered out to just a fraction of their peak in the 1970s, when each quarterly edition sold millions of copies. Coronavirus was the final straw.

“Last week, as the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic to content production and the supply chain became clearer and clearer, we were forced to accelerate a conversation we’ve been having internally,” the magazine said in a blog post published late on Wednesday.

“We have decided that our Spring 2020 Issue, which arrives on US newsstands and as a digital download this week, will be our final printed publication for the year in the US,” the post said.

Playboy’s online output will continue as will a number of its international print editions.

“Over the past 66 years, we’ve become far more than a magazine. And sometimes you have to let go of the past to make room for the future,” the magazine said.

Playboy now is primarily a global brand, with the bow-tied bunny ears logo plastered on a range of products from clothes to perfumes.

-with agencies