Playboy will no longer publish photos of nude women as part of a redesign of the decades-old magazine, according to a news report Monday. Executives for the magazine company told The New York Times that the change will take place in March 2016.
The paper reported that the print edition of Playboy will still feature women in provocative poses, but they will no longer be fully nude.
"The political and sexual climate of 1953, the year Hugh Hefner introduced Playboy to the world, bears almost no resemblance to today," said Playboy Enterprises CEO Scott Flanders. "We are more free to express ourselves politically, sexually and culturally today, and that's in large part thanks to Hef's heroic mission to expand those freedoms. We will stay true to those core values with this new vision of Playboy's future. Once our readers see all of the innovative changes we're making to the magazine, we're confident they will love the end product when it debuts next year."
Playboy editor Cory Jones contacted founder and current editor in chief Hugh Hefner recently about dropping nude photos from the print edition and he agreed, the Times reported.
The change represents a major shift for the magazine, which broke new ground when Hefner created it and featured Marilyn Monroe on its debut cover in 1953.
But officials acknowledge that Playboy has been witnessing widespread changes. "You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it's just passT at this juncture," said Scott Flanders, the company's chief executive.
The Times reported that playboy's print circulation, once measured in millions, is now about 800,000, according to Alliance for Audited Media.
The move marks the latest step away from depictions of full nudity, which were banned from the magazine's website last August.
Previous efforts to revamp Playboy have never quite stuck. But this time, as the magazine seeks to compete with younger outlets, Flanders said it sought to answer a key question: "if you take nudity out, what's left?"
With the Associated Press/Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.