From: Dan Stiffler <email@example.com>, 10 May 2003
Subject: Hef Rex?
If PLAYBOY is to survive Mr. Hefner's total retirement (he admits to not editing the text anymore), it will need an editor who can lead the magazine into a new cultural era without abandoning the timeless aspects that made PLAYBOY the success it was during its nascent years. This condition is unarguable. If Mr. Kaminsky is such an editor remains to be seen. From my point of view, he has made several false steps with his dismissive actions and uniformed remarks about the PMOY, but I am also willing to acknowledge that the learning curve may be more difficult at PLAYBOY than at other magazines. Few magazines have such an intensely loyal readership at the core; if Mr. Kaminsky continues to disrespect the past, he will continue to receive the criticism—at least until he drives away that loyal core. I genuinely hope that he is a quick learner, because Mr. Hefner apparently has entrusted the future of PLAYBOY to him.
From: Donna Tavoso <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 6 May 2003
Subject: Hef's Successor
I found both Peggy and Brian's note on Hef needing a successor interesting because in reading the Reuter's piece along with other pieces quoting Jim Kaminsky himself and some inside source about the magazine, I think PLAYBOY has done just that with Jim Kaminsky. He seems to be someone who does respect the history of the magazine, has a connection to it, believes in its orginal values and is most importantly is not afraid to take risks and the heat for taking those risks.
Note from PW:
What about Jim Kaminsky? How can we not explicitly judge his work? Re: Donna's above comment, many of us longtime readers are not so optimistic here: we are doubtful about his respect for and command of PLAYBOY's past, and concerned about his vision for it in the future. His interest seems more professional and corporate than personal. He has put into the magazine what he knows and has shown little evidence of being truly visionary; I suspect he lacks a large enough view to truly lead PLAYBOY to its best. He seems to treat it too much like another magazine. He seems conservative and overly willing to cast aside PLAYBOY's meaning in any larger context.
What I have said here about JK is very undeveloped and unsophisticated—it is my first instinct. It is also unfair, since I haven't worked with him and don't know specifically what is attributable to him. I am grateful for his injection of change, but my support ends there.