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The Fat Bunny is Close to Singing- Playboy to eliminate 55 jobs in cost-cutting move

Playboy Enterprises Inc. disclosed in a Wednesday regulatory filing that upcoming cost-cutting measures will include eliminating 55 jobs at the Chicago publishing and entertainment concern.

In the Securities and Exchange Commission document, Playboy said that a plan to reduce annual costs by $10 million is being increased to $12 million “in light of current economic and media conditions.” That effort will generate a $2 million charge, the company said, and the fourth quarter will include a $4 million charge to cover a troubled receivable and other issues. “The resulting $6 million in charges against operating income for the third quarter … is expected to result in a loss for the quarter,” the filing said.

Playboy had net income in the 2007 third quarter of $2.6 million, or 8 cents a share. Before Wednesday’s disclosure analysts had been expecting the company to eke out earnings in the 2008 third quarter of $550,000, or 2 cents a share.

Playboy also included in the filing a copy of a “Dear Fellow Employees” letter sent out to workers Wednesday, in which Chairman and Chief Executive Christie Hefner said the economy’s deterioration make it “unavoidable that we reduce our cost structure to reflect current economic realities.”

Hefner’s letter spells out a number of cost-cutting moves, including consolidating facilities and reducing travel outlays and overtime. “Unfortunately,” she continued, the changes will also mean the elimination of about 80 positions in the company, 25 of which are currently unfilled.”

As of Feb. 29, Playboy reported a workforce of 789 full-time employees.

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