Playboy’s Spring 2020 issue, set to hit newsstands this week, will be its final print issue of the year. Beginning in 2021, Playboy Enterprises CEO Ben Kohn says that the company will “move to a digital-first publishing schedule for all of our content.” The company says that the coronavirus crisis, with its effects on the publishing supply chain, contributed to the decision. Playboy switched from a monthly to a quarterly publishing schedule in 2019. Its circulation, which topped out at 5.6 million in the 1970s, had slid to just 210,000 by 2018. Kohn says that the magazine’s trademark features—the Playboy Interview, Playboy Advisor and Playmate pictorials—will continue to appear on its digital platform.
Another publishing victim of COVID19: the Sacramento News & Review. The weekly publication will cease operations following its March 20 issue. Most of its staff will be laid off. While CEO and majority owner Jeff vonKaenel told the Sacramento Business Journal that the closure was a “temporary setback,” he added that it would likely be permanent if the sheltering in place currently effect in the area continues for an extended period. The News & Review’s editions in Chico, CA and Reno, NV will also shut down. All three publications depend primarily on advertising for restaurants, clubs, bars, theaters and entertainment, vonKaenel said. Also, the News & Review is distributed at retail outlets, which are also ordered closed.
The European Union has asked Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings to limit streaming of its films and TV series to standard definition, as opposed to high definition at peak times during the course of the crisis, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter. High-definition streaming takes up considerably more bandwidth then standard definition does. "To beat #COVID19, we #StayAtHome. Teleworking & streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain,” EU Internal Market and Services Commissioner Thierry Breton wrote in a Twitter post. “To secure Internet access for all, let’s #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary." A Netflix representative told CNN that the platform already adjusts the quality of streams to available network capacity, and uses a special delivery network that keeps its library closer to users as a way of consuming less bandwidth.
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