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Playboy’s job cuts hit online unit hard

Company to pinkslip 90

Playboy Enterprises said Thursday that it’s cutting 90 jobs, half of them in its online division, to keep the black ink flowing despite a miserable economy.

In a statement, Christie Hefner, chairman-CEO of Playboy, said the job cuts and other reductions in overhead will save between $8 million and $10 million a year, and ensure profitability in 2002.

Playboy’s most lucrative division is its pay TV and pay-per-view operation, which consists of seven sex-oriented networks. Many of these networks are available both to cable subscribers and to satellite dish owners.

Playboy is better off than many of its competitors among media corporations in a sluggish economic marketplace because only about 10% of its revenue comes from advertising, namely the magazine and the Web site. The dip in advertising has hammered broadcast networks, TV stations, ad-supported cable networks and magazines.

For the current year, Playboy said it expects to report a 10% increase in cash flow to about $55 million.

At market close Thursday, Playboy was up 19¢ to $12.99.

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