March 25, 2016 Last Updated 7:46 am

Playboy said to be for sale; IBT Media layoffs; media app updates

Morning Brief: Zinio, The Washington Post, Star Touch by Toronto Star among latest media app updates released, most for bug fixes, though Sports Illustrated has added a new 3-month subscription level

The investment firm Moelis & Company has been brought in by Playboy Enterprises, possibly to entertain offers to buy the company, or other possibilities, depending on who one talks to. The Wall Street Journal (paywalled) reported the news, with other media outlets repeating the information without being able to add to it as Playboy has not issued a statement.

Playboy-pillowPlayboy, the magazine, recently ended its long tradition of nude model photography, and circulation for the men’s title has slipped to just over 750K in its latest publisher’s statement, far below the over 3 million circulation the magazine had a decade ago.

Because of this, most revenue for Playboy Enterprises comes from licensing deals, for both foreign editions and merchandise. Playboy’s own merchandising efforts have been rather lackluster (such as pillows with “I read it for the articles” printed on them).

“When the Playboy Mansion was listed for sale earlier this year, the person said, it prompted potential buyers to begin expressing interest in buying the entire company, and Playboy decided to explore that interest,” The New York Times reported yesterday afternoon.

IBT Media, which recently announced an expansion of its video team, yesterday laid off at least 15 newsroom employees yesterday. Editor in chief Peter Goodman is also leaving the company, in a move that effects the International Business Times website, but not Newsweek magazine.

App updates:

The Washington Post Classic for iPad: fixes a crash issue.
The Baltimore Sun: Better handling of subscription renewals, added FAQ section
CNN: Updates for both iPad and iPhone apps to add election coverage sections.
Star Touch by Toronto Star: minor fixes
Sports Illustrated Magazine: adds 3 month subscription level to digital edition app.

Finally, Zinio’s app update includes an interesting note to users:

What’s New in Version 3.4.6
– Fixed minor bugs related to iPad user interface
– Fixed bugs related to the table of content of interactive magazines.
– Improved the Magazine Preview feature for the Explore section

Important change for iOS 8 and below users:
Please note that if you are using iOS 8 or below, the Zinio app will no longer appear on the home screen of your device. The Zinio app will instead appear inside the Newsstand folder on your home screen. Please upgrade to iOS 9 or above if you want to have the Zinio app appear on the home screen of your device.

What this means, I suppose, is that apps that are in the Magazines & Newspapers category will default to the old Newsstand if the reader is on an older version of iOS. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem since iPhone users tend to upgrade to the latest version if the mobile operating system quickly.

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