Thursday, December 31, 2009

Culture Lesson: The Nudie Magazine Empire

I want to first disclose that this post was directly inspired by mass confusion when I insisted that Larry Flynt didn't own Penthouse and was then forced to look it up, and the only way that came up was because I found out that Playgirl is not the female version of Playboy, which I only learned because I read about the ailing Playgirl Inc. on The Awl. (It is, but I thought it was owned by Playboy Enterprises.) I can't think of a reason we need to know this, except for random arguments and cocktail parties. Luckily, that's my real goal here, so we'll have to forge onward. Anyway, I don't want Old People, or Young People, thinking I'm some kind of porn afficianado, because quite frankly, porn freaks me out. (It's the one residual effect from Catholic School. OK, two things: fear of nudity and a love for a specific kind of sheet cake.)

Publication: Hustler
Publisher: Larry Flynt Publications
Ignominious Celebrity Associated with Ownership: Larry Flynt
Honorary Title for Centerfold: N/A. Just "centerfold." (I inadvertently use the phrase "hustlerette", so if that comes up in conversation, my apologies in advance.)
Associated Properties: Asian Beaver, Barely Legal, Chic Magazine, Hustler XXX, Juggs, Leg World, Tips & Tricks (videogames!). Hustler Casino, Hustler Club, and Hustler Video,
Additional Notes: 1) Australian and Canadian version of Hustler license material, but are not owned by Flynt or Flynt's company. 2) is operated by LFP Internet Group, LLC. That would stand for Larry Flynt Publications Internet Group. 3) Flynt is still alive, despite whatever balderdash my parents tell you. 4) Flynt still mails a copy of the magazine to each member of Congress. Remind me if I run, and win, a seat. 4) If you're going to read porn "for the articles" read Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut's WarAgainst the GAP, and Other Adventures with the Totally Lost Tribes of America by Evan Wright. (The introduction provides interesting insight regarding the office culture at Hustler, too.)

Publication: Penthouse
Publisher: Penthouse Media Group (previously General Media, Inc. under ownership of Penthouse International Inc.)
Ignominious Celebrity Associate with Ownership: Bobb Guccione
Honorary Title for Centerfold: Penthouse Pet (Ed. Note: I learned this from Rock of Love with Bret Michaels)
Associated Properties: AdultFriendFinder, Penthouse HDTV, Various Inc.
Additional Notes: N/A

Publisher: Playboy Enterprises Inc.
Ignominious Celebrity Associate with Ownership: Hugh Hefner (Currently CCO; Linda Harvard is CFO, Alex Vaickus is President, Scott Flanders is CEO and Executive Director)
Honorary Title for Centerfold: Bunny
Associated Properties: Playboy on Campus, Playboy Online, Playboy Radio, Playboy TV, Spice Network, every stupid item stamped with its logo on it.
Additional Notes: Trades publicly on NYSE as PLA

Publication: Playgirl
Publisher: Playgirl Inc.
Ignominious Celebrity Associate with Ownership: N/A
Honorary Title for Centerfold: Man of the Month
Associated Properties: Previous ventures in TV and film. And print.
Additional Notes: No longer in print.

I feel so dirty now. The things I do for you Old People.

Additional Resources:
Jessanne Collins: The Truth About 'Playgirl' and Levi Johnston, The Awl

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