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It is possible, indeed, probable, that Kohn's utter mismanagement wasn't because he didn't know what he was doing. After all, he's helped take many companies public, or private, or both. No, Kohn knows exactly what he's doing. In all-too-typical private equity practice, he's strip-mining the company's assets, turning value into cash for himself and his cronies, and reselling the hollowed-out, emptied package back to the public, which takes the losses while Kohn and his team takes their salaries and sells their shares.

He's fired the sales staff, made some very foolish acquisitions which he later sold at a loss, ceased publication of the magazine entirely, sold off famous corporate jet, the "Big Bunny", ditched the mansion, divorced the company from Hefner's heirs, and is in the process of selling off Hefner's personal collection of collectibles, art, furnishings and other artifacts of the Playboy legacy.

Kohn will do what private equity operators always do: reduce headcount, destroy the company's legacy, sell anything and everything of value, and take the money and run. Caring not a whit about his public persona and reputation, in the end he'll be cheered and applauded by his colleagues in the private equity business for ripping up what could have been a profitable company, converting the assets to cash and distributing it to some very undeserving, marginally human people.

Here's his bio, straight from the PLBY website:

Ben Kohn

Chief Executive Officer, President & Director
Ben Kohn is responsible for leading PLBY Group's global growth strategy and execution. He is focused on delivering sustainable, long-term growth and value creation for PLBY Group's shareholders.

Kohn joined Playboy as Chief Executive Officer in January 2018, after having served as interim CEO of Playboy from May 2016 to December 2017. Kohn has served on Playboy's Board of Directors since March 2011. From 2004 to December 2018, Kohn served as a Managing Partner at the private equity firm Rizvi Traverse where he led the successful buyouts of major media and entertainment companies, including taking Playboy private in 2011.

Prior to his time at Rizvi Traverse, Kohn was a Vice President at Angelo, Gordon & Co., where he focused on private equity and special situations. Kohn started his career at Cowen & Company in the Mergers and Acquisitions group. Mr. Kohn also serves on the Board of Directors for the performance rights organization, SESAC. He received his Bachelor of Science in Management BSM from Tulane University, and his Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.

Editor's note: As the final test issue (this one, December, 2023) of idleguy.com was being prepared, the realization that this story had more than one issue could handle became crystal clear, thus, it is being spread out to at least two parts, the second of which will be a feature in the January, 2024, first official issue.

This first part will attempt to offer an overview of the company and its business practices since Kohn took the company public in February, 2021 via a SPAC, and highlight the various decisions Kohn made as the company's (PLBY Group) CEO, President and Director.

Downtown Magazine has made every effort to communicate with the CEO of PLBY Group, ostensibly the owners of the Playboy franchise, but have met with a complete lack of response to inquiries about acquiring licensing rights to interviewing Mr. Kohn.

Downtown Magazine Inc, parent company of idleguy.com, holds no position and owns no stock in PLBY Group.

See Part 2 of Ben Kohn Hates Bunnies in the January 2024 issue of idelguy.com on the web starting December 29 or 30th.

From the Publisher's Desk
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While it's not my job, nor my aim, to counteract the obfuscation and/or omission of the truth by the MSM, I do have eyes and ears, and I'm not stupid (well, that's subject to debate). Hopefully, none of us are so deaf, blind, or blissfully ignorant that we cannot see what's happening. The BLM riots of 2020, the War in Ukraine, demolition of the Nordstream pipelines, the "Russia bad" narrative, hectoring of President Trump, the dehumanization of Gaza, all speak loudly all by themselves. We don't need a Nora O'Donnell or Lester Holt to tell us what to believe. We don't need any spin from Jake Sullivan or Antony Blinken. We are Americans, or Canadians, or Italians, Iranians, Kenyans, Chinese, Indians, and so on. We can make up our own minds without the help of media or the government, thank you.

It would not be so bothersome if the media only did it part of them time, but, increasingly, every newscast, every editorial, every second of every day is filled with vitriol, hate, anger, and depravation. It's become a constant barrage of negativity - from climate change to LGBTQ - shoved down our throats every day, all day, and all night. It's time for a change, and with your support, I'm working towards that change. Idleguy.com may not be the ideal vehicle to fight oppression and censorship, but, it's a start, it's something I enjoy doing and something I'll keep doing.

Playboy magazine, after which idleguy.com is modeled, wasn't exactly viewed as a paragon of virtue, but, it's founder, Hugh M. Hefner, believed in his vision, stuck to his guns and his views and was a driving factor for individual and press freedom in his time. One didn't have to agree with his perspective or ideas. He, and other intellectuals of his day, invited and thrived on controversy and debate. They reveled in it. It seems, these days, that spirit is largely missing. It's either agree or shut up, or be silenced, or go to jail, or worse.

You may have noticed some progress in the presentation over the first three test issues, September, October, and December. I skipped November due to being worn out from learning new tricks. This old dog isn't exactly an ace coder or techie. I'm a writer at heart, a publisher by necessity. Whether it showed or not, these first three issues took a lot of time and effort to get onto the internet and it's been a huge learning experience for me. I'll continue to make improvements.

One last thing: In this age of instant communications, publishing on a monthly basis is something of a departure, which is why I put together the Daily Idler, which will serve, eventually, as a platform and portal for regular, more frequent use. The monthly format allows for more planning and presentation. I was thinking about it the other day and recalled, when I was a kid, waiting for the next issues of Marvel Comics, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, the Avengers. I was a huge fan of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Marvel's vision. I couldn't wait for the next issues to arrive at Mr. Casey's newsstand.

The same went for Playboy. The monthly reveal was like a special event, a happening, something to anticipate and appreciate. That's part of the goal with idleguy.com. I want to make it something people will be excited about, an experience.

It's not all about the news of the day. As Mark Twain opined so eloquently, "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." Publishing monthly allows for introspection, examination, better presentation, and, who knows, maybe even proofreading.

Well, I suppose that's enough proselytizing for one issue. I'll be back in late December, with the first "live" issue of idleguy.com, the January 2024 New Year edition. It is my fervent wish to see you back here then.

Fearless Rick, November 21, 2023

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