Cooper Hefner Teases Year of the Rabbit

Chief creative officer hints that 2017 will be eventful for the Playboy magazine brand.

PlayboyNovember2016The Chinese Year of the Rooster begins Jan. 28, 2017. And as hinted now by Playboy Enterprises chief creative officer Cooper Hefner, next year could also be a big one for the media world’s most famous rabbit.

As we reported in July, Hef passed down the CCO title to his 25-year-old son in the wake of the exit of Playboy Enterprises CEO Scott Flanders. According to a report this week by Keith J. Kelly, the Hefner move has triggered the resignation of editorial director Jason Buhrmester, the ouster of chief content officer Corey Jones and other staff moves.

Kelly writes that he received a ‘less-than-clear email’ from Cooper with regards to whether the new CCO plans to reverse Flanders’ decision to remove full nudity from the U.S. digital and print editions of Playboy magazine. The scion’s quoted remarks end with: “Let’s just say, 2017 will be a big year for our rabbit.”

Once a brand makes the kind of pivot that the U.S. side of Playboy magazine did in 2015-16, it can be very complicated to reverse. Stay tuned, with both rabbit ears pointed firmly in the direction of west Los Angeles.

Update (Oct. 27):
Perhaps Cooper’s cryptic response to Kelly had something to do with this. According to a Reuters report published shortly after our item, Hollywood executives Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan are in advanced talks to acquire Playboy Enterprises.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Cooper Hefner Re-Enters the Playboy Fray

Pictured: November 2016 U.S. edition cover (click to enlarge)