Another Reason to Like Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner is a friend to men ages 10-110 for reasons not requiring elaboration. The founder of Playboy magazine, apparently, is also a friend to the printing and publishing industry. Addressing the future role of the magazine’s hard copy edition, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders recently told Reuters: “Over my dead body will we quit producing the magazine in print.”

Playboy magazine is a fine example of the impact print has on its recipients. At the risk of starting (or ending) your day on an icky note, the publication’s bread and butter is the ability to capture beauty in a series of bold, colorful photographs; pictures whose aim is to elicit a response in its readership—the goal of any printed piece. The same could be said for the interviews and commentary that help to bridge the gap between aforementioned pictorials. They’re controversial and compelling.

Is it smut? Is it art? Or is it just a plain-old, natural fascination with the naked female body, a preoccupation that predates modern civilization? Look, I’m not here to judge your approval or disapproval of viewing what may be deemed objectionable material by some people. But for generations of young men, the magazine has represented an introduction to the female anatomy. And that, kind reader, holds value.

Playboy, though it is suffering through a decline in advertising dollars, is not following the knee-jerk reaction of publishers who decided that the hard copy is expendable in light of necessary cost-cutting initiatives. As I’ve said previously, doing away with the printed magazine is suicide for publishers who don’t seem to grasp the “out of sight, out of mind” mantra. But poor magazine management is nature’s way of thinning out the herd. Ah, the circle of life.

Kudos to you, Hugh, for knowing what your male subscribers want and understanding that most laptop computers would break if you tried to hide them between the mattress and box spring.