Concerned about the “legacy” of Playboy and the “editorial direction of the magazine,” Hugh Hefner wants to buy complete ownership of the publication he created in 1953. Already controlling seventy percent of the voting stock Hef has offered $123 million to take the whole thing private. Trouble now is that rival Penthouse wants the magazine for itself and may begin a bedding war.
Hefner brought his softy-porn publication into respectable mainstream with a classy style of literary and artsy packages, giving the impression that the girls in the buff were only incidental. His concept and timing made Playboy an institution where a spinoff empire grew around Hefner’s fantasy life, continuing now into his 84th year.