• December 2014
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Playboy Brasil and The Lost Franchises


Whistleblower Mônica Velosa — Mônica bares all! — struck a blow for naked forty-somethings

Source: Portal Vermelho.

Suffering a financial crisis, the Abril publishing group is considering doing away with its traditional Playboy magazine. The topic formed part of the agenda of the company’s year-end meeting, which also contemplated the end of another men’s magazine, Men’s Health. The company recently announced the end of the print edition of tech magazine Info.

Abril has long made a living cloning U.S. print media

The closure of Men’s Health more certain: it has been scheduled to close by July 2015. Its print edition and its online version have both called for the cancellation of subscriptions. Playboy, however, with its powerful branding, is being approached with more caution.

According to a column by Leo Dias, of the Rio daily O Dia, the profits of the two titles were very low this year. It is possible, he said, that the U.S. version of Playboy would intervene financially to prevent the closure of its Brazilian version.

The Abril group has watch the gradual demise of some of its magazines. It recently announced the end of the print edition of its Info technology title, which now circulates entirely online. Two weeks after the Info announcement, it announced that Runner’s World would also cease to be an Abril title.

Brasil 247 fills in some of the background with an interview with José Roberto Guzzo,  a senior executive.

Board member of a publishing house that is cutting costs, losing readers and closing magazines, journalist José Roberto Guzzo wrote the principal  editorial of Veja magazine this week. His theory is that, in 2014, when the PT won its fourth consecutive national election and elected governors in Minas Gerais, Bahia, Piauí, Ceará and Acre, the Workers Party is deade: “How can a political party survive without honor?” he asks. Veja, which seems incapable of any insight into its own motivations, ran an appropriate headline: [“The year we shamed ourselves.”]

The O Dia editorial, hosted by Brasil247.

247 – As we all know, 2014 was an election year and the Workers Party won, for the fourth straight time, the presidential election.

By a slim margin, but it won.

The PT also prevailed for the first in regions such as Minas Gerais (Fernando Pimentel) and Ceará (Camilo Santana). In Acre, Tião Viana gave the party its fifth victory this year. In Bahia, Rui Costa delivered the third PT government in a row, after two terms by Jaques Wagner. In Piauí, the return of Senator Wellington Dias was important news.

As if this were not enough, a survey conducted last year indicated that in spite of all the scandals, the PT remains the most admired party in Brazil, with 16% approval —  the PSDB came in second with 4%.  A Datafolha survey indicated that Dilma Rousseff is the chief executive who, in the eyes of Brazilians, has done to the most to confront the scourge of corruption — ex-presidents Lula and FHC come in second and third, in that order.

The Fall of Abril


Cut now to the Abril publishing group. 2014 was a year in which the group’s flagship title, Veja, suffered the most humiliating error in the history of Brazilian journalism. On the very day of the election, it was ordered to provide a “right of reply” for having attempted to defraud voters with its famous cover, “They knew everything” thousands of which circulated in the form of  campaign pamphlets.

After that, it was nothing but bad news for the House of  Civita. Layoffs, magazine closings — such as Info Exame, which migrated online — and cost-cutting.  The publications walking on a razor’s edge at the moment are Men’s Health e a Playboy.

“The year we paid the monkey”

It was in this context — the surprising resilience of the PT and the frank decline of Abril — that Veja columnist and board member of the Abril group, decided to publish a rather bizarre editorial.

No texto ‘O fim da história’, ela afirma: ‘É possível que 2014 acabe entrando para a memória política brasileira como o ano em que o Partido dos Trabalhadores morreu’.

According to Guzzo, the PT died by “involuntary suicide” or “by inoculating itself with a lengthy, progressive and incurable disease called corruption.

“How can a party survive when it has lost its honor?” the journalist said, adding that during its 12 years in power, the PT gave birth to not a single useful idea — ignoring programs such as Bolsa-Família,  ProUni and many others.

Guzzo, it seems, is incapable of opening his eyes to what is going on all around him — the institution in ruins is not the PT but the Abril group itself, which has traded in journalism for a new vocation: political pamphleteering.

The headline of the year-end edition of Veja could not be more ironic:  ‘The year we paid the monkey” — i.e., we embarrassed ourselves.” With the exception, of course, that it was Abril that paid the monkey and not Brazil as a whole.