Move Comes as Circulation Fails to Meet Advertising Rate Base

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- James Kaminsky is leaving his post as editorial director of Playboy, according to the company.
Nineteen months after he was brought in with great fanfare to remake 'Playboy,' James Kaminsky is out.

Formerly the executive director of Dennis Publishing's Maxim, Mr. Kaminsky was brought to Playboy amid much publicity in September 2002. He replaced Arthur Kretchmer, who had been editorial director for 30 years.

Update formula
The move was widely seen as a bid to update Playboy's formula and a pincer move to fend off stiff competition from so-called laddie titles such as Maxim. Mr. Kaminsky, an insider said, was also charged with bringing in a steadier stream of A-list celebrities into the magazine. The insider said it was felt that Mr. Kaminsky did not succeed in this regard.

A Playboy spokeswoman would only say Mr. Kaminsky "has done a great job as editorial director" and that he would move on to an as-yet unspecified inter-divisional role at the company. Efforts to reach Mr. Kaminsky at press time were unsuccessful.

Shift to New York
Under Mr. Kaminsky, Playboy moved its editorial center of gravity to New York, where it is expected to remain. He brought over some other ex-Maximites, among them Steven Russell, then Maxim's co-executive editor who Mr. Kaminsky made his deputy editor at Playboy..

For the last half of 2003, Playboy failed to meet its rate base, or circulation guaranteed to advertisers, of 3.2 million. However, newsstand sales rose 4.2% to 369,229.

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