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Playboy shares rise on upgrade

From The Street | Playboy Enterprises shares were up 1.5 percent in afternoon trading Wednesday after Caris analyst David Miller upgraded the company to above average from average, and raised his price target to $6.50 from $5 on his belief that founder Hugh Hefner has the means to take the company private. Get the full story>>

Facebook CEO named Time’s ‘Person of Year’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (AP/Paul Sakuma)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year. Rick Stengel, the magazine’s managing editor, made the announcement Wednesday on NBC’s “Today“ show.

Zuckerberg created the widely popular and influential social networking site, which reflects a major transformation in the way people communicate and do business.

“Facebook has merged with the social fabric of American life, and not just American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account, but 70 percent of Facebook users live outside the U.S. It’s a permanent fact of our global social reality. We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerberg is the man who brought us here.“ Get the full story »

Playboy artwork sells at New York auction

From the BBC | A Dali watercolour of a reclining nude that once hung in Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s bedroom has fetched $266,500 at a New York auction. The nude, featured in a 1967 issues of Playboy and not expected to get more $150,000, was among 125 artworks owned by the magazine to go under the hammer at Christie’s.

Wednesday’s sale included 80 photos and 24 cartoons, a fraction of the magazine’s archives stored in a warehouse in Chicago. Get the full story>>

Consumer Reports rates AT&T worst carrier

AT&T’s customer satisfaction rating tumbled this year, ranking dead last among U.S. wireless carriers, according to a Consumer Reports survey released on Monday.

The nation’s second largest wireless network received the worst possible rating in eight of the nine categories the magazine studied, including overall value, voice service, data service, phone service, staff knowledge, and resolution of issues, among others. Get the full story »

Playboy looks to Asia for growth

From Time Magazine | With this week’s opening of the Playboy Club Macao, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders said he is confident he’s found a place for the iconic company in the digital age. Instead of relying on American men buying magazines and watching cable, the company’s profits will depend on two seemingly unlikely demographics: Asian women and cosmopolitan clubgoers. Get the full story>>

Newsweek, Daily Beast to partner

Newsweek, a 77-year-old magazine that once helped set the national news agenda, is linking its future with The Daily Beast, a startup just two years in the making. Beast editor Tina Brown, who led both Vanity Fair and The New Yorker before deciding to give Web publishing a try, will be the editor of both publications.

Playboy posts loss, but says magazine ads will rise

Playboy Enterprises Inc. reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as revenue from its entertainment, and print and digital businesses continued to decline, but said it expects Playboy magazine advertising pages to rise about 7 percent in the current quarter. Get the full story »

Playboy auctioning art collection, photos

A Dali watercolor of a reclining nude that hung in Hugh Hefner’s bedroom is among 125 artworks being auctioned by the magazine known for baring all for nearly 60 years. The sale includes 80 photographs, more than a dozen contemporary works and 24 cartoons.

The Dec. 8 auction at Christie’s is dubbed “The Year of the Rabbit.” Founder and editor-in-chief Hefner said the magazine that has entertained, titillated and informed with its commissioned art has blurred the lines between fine and popular art.

“Playboy helped to change the very direction of commercial art — breaking down the wall between fine art and commercial art,” the 84-year-old Hefner told The Associated Press in an interview at his Los Angeles mansion. Get the full story »

Playboy to book $20 million-plus charge in 3Q

Playboy Enterprises Inc. said Thursday that it expects to book a non-cash charge in excess of $20 million related to its television programming inventory in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30. Get the full story »

Playboy puts Chicago HQ up for sublease

Playboy Enterprises Inc. is looking to sublease its headquarters space at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive.

The company confirmed this morning that it hired real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield to sublease the 15th and 16th floors of the building because the space “is too big for us,” said spokeswoman Martha Lindeman.

Lindeman said the company has not started looking for a new home to relocate its 245 full-time employees. “We haven’t made any plans at all,” she said. Get the full story »

Playboy Club to return to London

From the Yorkshire Evening Post | Almost 30 years since its original club closed in London, Playboy Enterprises said it return to London next year in Mayfair. The new Playboy Club will include a restaurant, cocktail bar and casino, spread over two floors. The return has been discussed for at least a decade but now Playboy and its partner London Clubs International say they will open the venue in the first half of 2011. Get the full story>>

Editor Fairchild leaving Bon Appetit

Nearly a year after shuttering Gourmet magazine, Conde Nast is shaking up the food world again.

The publisher announced Monday that longtime Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild will step down this year when Conde Nast moves the magazine’s headquarters from California to New York. The company said the move is part of a consolidation effort. Get the full story »

8 Illinois companies named best for working moms

Eight Illinois companies were among the 100 companies nationwide deemed best by Working Mother magazine, whose 2010 list opens a window onto a widening array of corporate assistance programs.

Tuition assistance, a concierge service to help with errands, leadership training for women, assistance for employees with special-needs children, paid maternity and paternity leave, and extensive flexible work arrangements were among the benefits at the top 10 firms. Get the full story »

Playboy for the blind? Yep, pictures and all

Suzi Hanks reads Playboy's articles -- and describes the pictures -- for Taping for the Blind in Texas. (AP)

Suzi Hanks reads Playboy magazine for the articles. And the jokes. And the letters and cartoons. And yes, for the pictures. Each week, for an hour, Hanks snuggles close to a microphone in a tiny soundproof closet, reading — and describing in great detail — portions of the latest Playboy issue for the blind.

“I don’t have to try to read it sexy,” laughs Hanks, one of about 200 volunteers at Houston-based Taping For The Blind Inc. “I just read it, and I’m a woman, and that’s pretty much sexy. Get the full story »

Playboy board hires advisers to weigh Hefner bid

The Playboy Enterprises Inc. special board committee tapped to evaluate Hugh Hefner’s offer to take the company private said Tuesday it retained Raine Securities LLC and Kaye Scholer LLP as its financial and legal advisors, respectively. Get the full story »