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NY Daily News: More on Playboy’s Efforts to Sell

Playboy could be looking to shed a lot more than its models’ clothes.

Playboy Enterprises will listen to sale offers or new strategies, interim chairman Jerome Kern said Wednesday.

Kern was named nonexecutive chairman after Christie Hefner announced her resignation in December, ending two decades running the magazine empire her father, Hugh, started in 1953.

Hugh Hefner still oversees every aspect of Playboy magazine as the top editor, from the lengthy articles to the jokes page, cartoons and the air-brushing of the nude layouts.

But the Chicago-based company has retained a search firm to find a new CEO.

Last month, Playboy said it would cut jobs, consolidate online and print operations and take a writedown as the company struggles with a declining audience in a poor economy. It cut 14% of its workforce last year.

“The results of our [costcutting] efforts to date should be meaningful, but in the face of current economic conditions, it is clear that our streamlining initiatives need to continue,” Kern said.

Playboy said it expects to face additional setbacks this year, including a noncash impairment charge of about $5 million in the first quarter.

In the first half of ’09, the adult entertainment giant expects to incur a charge of about $9 million relating to the closing of its Manhattan office.

The adult entertainment company posted a quarterly loss of $145.7 million, hurt by $157.2 million in restructuring and other one-time costs.

Revenues declined to $69.8 million from $85.9 million a year ago. It had a net loss in each quarter of last year.

In its licensing unit, which is responsible for placing the company’s iconic bunny ears logo on everything from T-shirts to diamond pendants, income declined 38% to $4.3 million.


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