Playboy magazine editorial director James Kaminsky has abruptly ankled the top post, capping a relatively brief stint that began with plenty of buzz and high hopes that he could give the mag revived virility.
Playboy Enterprises announced late Thursday that Kaminsky, who arrived at the magazine in the fall of 2002, has a new role as VP of special projects within the company.
In that capacity, he will continue to serve as a contributing editor to Playboy, as well as explore the possibility of magazine spinoffs, including film, TV and books. He also will continue to work on the mag’s 50th anniversary projects.
A new editorial director was not named.
Kaminsky came to Playboy from Maxim, where he was exec director, replacing 30-year Playboy editorial director Arthur Kretchmer.
Playboy founder and editor in chief Hugh M. Hefner expressly authorized Kaminsky to redirect the publication and find a formula to boost circulation and ad sales in the highly competitive lad mag market.
Celebrities, fashion stressed
Celebrity covers and more men’s fashion were right away key ingredients of Kaminsky’s editorial overhaul, but apparently it wasn’t enough to jolt earnings.
In the last half of 2003, the magazine reportedly failed to meets its rate base or guaranteed circulation of 3.2 million. Newsstand sales did see a 4% jump to 369,229.
“Jim and our editors have done an impressive job in executing Playboy’s new editorial direction, a move that has generated results in the form of higher newsstand sales in an otherwise soft magazine market and has led to new advertisers and an increase in ad pages this year,” Hefner said. “That was Jim’s mission when he accepted his position with Playboy, and he has accomplished it.”
During Kaminksy’s tenure, Playboy moved its editorial epicenter to Gotham, where it is expected to remain.