Honor Thy Playmate - Doesn't the Magazine Have More Edit Than This

Donna Tavoso dtavoso@earthlink.net
Sun, 18 May 2003 02:53:36 -0500 (EST)

Dan wrote:
> PLAYBOY had lots of competition in the fifties and sixties, when it
> was making its place in history (Dude, Adam, Rogue, Gent, et al).
> Studying what made PLAYBOY different from its competition can be quite
> constructive...but there I go again with the "glory days."  Today, I
> am afraid, PLAYBOY is more interested in becoming *like* its
> competition, which has all the hallmarks of a quick fix.

If I'm not mistaken, all of the magazines you mentioned are out of
business, but I could be wrong.  My complaint isn't that you want to
look at what worked in the past -- of course they should, I personally
love the covers of the sixities and I would love to see Playboy do
them again, but I am realistic enough to know that in today's world
what moves on the newsstand is celebrities and we can hate it, but
it's a fact -- so my beef isn't that you want to look at what was in
the past, it's that you refuse to do it within the confines of the
realities of today.

> You are right that PLAYBOY is the number one men's magazine.  However,
> we all know that it holds that status because of its 2+ million
> subscribers (it sells only a fraction of Maxim at the newsstand).
> Kaminsky has said that he doesn't want to lose that base of
> subscribers.  It wouldn't hurt to listen once in a while to that base.
> We are loyal readers but we should not be taken for granted.  We may
> be cranky, but we care.  For us, PLAYBOY is not a job, but an
> avocation.  Some of us are spending a lot of energy at this crucial
> point in PLAYBOY's history to share our hopes and fears about the
> magazine we love.

And I'll repeat what I said in an earlier post, I think they would
listen if someone actually wrote something that was relevant about
something other than the Playmates. I actually archive the posts and
went back and read them.  (Peggy excluded and a few comments about
their being less illustrations and more photographs but not in context
to an actual piece) Do you like the way reviews are done now, what
about the new layout of After Hours and Raw Data, I know I wrote this
already, but since you keep saying you love the book, I want to point
out again how rarly you actually mention the content of the magazine.

> To be honest, I am skeptical that much of what we say here will matter
> to those who make decisions at PLAYBOY.  Criticism is not easily
> accepted by those who are in power.  However, Peggy has the optimism
> and the perseverance to believe that what we do here can matter.

If you want them to listen to you and I have worked in publishing for
20 years, editors do read what their letters, how about telling them
what you would like to see, what was wrong with a story, or why
something didn't appeal to you.  And just because he doesn't agree
with your critism or follows a different path than what you want,
doesn't mean they aren't listening, real leadership is listening and
then deciding the best way to move forward after evaulating
everything. I would have loved to be in the room when they put the
idea of moving the PMOY off the cover before Hef, I bet it was a hell
of a meeting with a man who doesn't walk away from tradition easily.
Can you and everyone else who is so wedded to this tradition, put that
feeling aside for one second and wonder they know something you don't,
maybe they were willing to take a risk for a gain down the road, maybe
they just wanted to see how loyal readers were to the feature (voting
for it is down over the past few years) Maybe it will be a huge
mistake, I don't know.  I just know that to me it shows a willingness
to take a risk and open themselves up to critisism from the very core
that they do truly care about.

And maybe Peggy is more optimistic that her voice will be heard
because she at offers a constructive critisism in her comments and
talks about something besides the PLAYMATES.  And here's a clue when
you find at least one positive and be fair there are positives, if
only that Playbill actually has color pictures now or that they are
reviewing DVDs instead of videos, it can go a long way to getting
someone to hear you.

Here's a challenge for you, Mr. Romantic -- see if you can respond to
this without mentioning the Playmates.