Times have been tough for the entire magazine industry -- classic publications like Gourmet, Modern Bride, Country Home, Vibe, and Blender all closed their doors in 2009. So it's not surprising that Playgirl, an X-rated magazine targeting women, would be among the wreckage.
Playgirl's publishers, the privately-owned Blue Horizon Media, decided to move the magazine solely online after declining sales made it impossible to continue in print. But the magazine has experienced a renaissance of sorts after convincing Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol Palin's baby, to pose for a special print issue in 2010.
So will Playgirl ultimately make it? The outlook's not so good. Even big publishing houses like Conde Nast and Hearst are have had a hard time keeping their earnings growth, and Playgirl is already over-exerting itself paying astronomical fees for celebrity photo shoots. Furthermore, the magazine's pay-per-view online business plan is falling short, as fewer and fewer people purchase subscriptions.
Editor's Update: The long time rival Magna Publishing acquired Blue Horizon Media's magazine title rights on April 25th, 2011. Playgirl, along with five other printed magazine brands are now published under Magna Publishing.