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Playboy's profits are falling

By Editorial Staff
Published January 1, 1989

CHICAGO, IL (FR) – Playboy Enterprises, apparently bending to pressure from anti-pornography activists, is taking another obvious step to change its corporate image. After several years of declining magazine sales, and the 1988 closing of all of its Playboy Clubs, the company’s video department is now reporting huge losses in cable subscribers.

When the “Playboy Channel” began several years ago – offering a mixture of pornographic movies and documentaries – the format was touted as the future of Playboy. But sources record that the video format has been a money loser from the beginning. The number of cable subscribers has dropped more than 30 percent to about 400,000 from a peak of 743,000 in 1984.

This has prompted corporate president Christie Hefner to take a second look at the Playboy image itself and how it should be portrayed to the public. Plans are now underway to change the television programming from edited X-rated films to more mainstream R-rated films, and to rename the channel because of viewer and operator opposition to the Playboy image.

The new channel, according to Hefner, will still carry some of the Playboy Video Centerfold and sex-oriented talk shows, but it will be called “Night Life” and will be co-sponsored by another company. “If we can make it happen, it has the most significant profit upside in the next three years of anything we’re working on right now,” said Hefner.

Playboy publicity spokesperson Terry Tomcison, speaking from her office in Chicago, confirmed that the company is seeking to appeal to a “broader audience.” She also added that co-sponsors for the new format have not been found at this point, and that the company has “nothing new to announce” about its plans until the new format is fully funded.

Cable operators around the U.S. apparently plan to continue avoiding the Playboy Channel. Lynn Skinner, customer service director for Cox Cable in Oklahoma City, reports that her company dropped the channel in 1985. “We look at what the viewer wants,” said Skinner, “and we had too many religious people calling in to complain about it.” Skinner also related that, after the channel was dropped, no one ever called in to say that they wanted the Playboy Channel reinstated in the programming selection.

Rich Gilman, director of studio operations for Heritage Cablevision in Des Moines, Iowa, said that his 1985 decision to drop Playboy was strictly a “business decision. We can only offer four pay channels, and the ones we offer reach a higher subscriber level than Playboy did.” Gilman stated that subscribers to the Playboy Channel tended to subscribe for a few months and then drop the service, whereas subscribers to other services like H.B.O. and Cinemax are usually long-term customers.

When asked whether Heritage Cablevision might reconsider its decision if Playboy changes its format, Gilman said, “We have no interest in carrying another pay service. It was not a good business decision.”


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

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This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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