Archives for posts with tag: Launch of Playboy

Always Ready For A New Business

Haresh Shah

 

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Must have been early 1990 when landed on my desk is an impressive corporate brochure of Autraco Holdings based in Vienna, Austria. In the cover letter signed by its CEO Rolf Dolina, he expresses his desire to want to publish Playboy magazine in Czechoslovakia. But we are already in negotiations with Vladimír Tichý of the Gennex Corporation, the publishers of magazines, books, films and video that included the Czech language edition of ComputerWorld. That in itself wouldn’t have stopped me from entertaining another option, especially because the Autraco Holdings boasts of its wide reach in the former eastern European countries that include Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The countries where they are sole distributors of Memorex USA, Honda automobiles and Fuji films. Enclosed with the letter are some issues of the Czech language version of Germany’s Burda Moden, widely distributed and hugely popular women’s magazine – similar to the Simplicity patterns in the United States. The magazine he was publishing with Hana Wagenhofer – his Prague based business partner in several joint ventures. And it is mainly for Hanna that he is so keen on doing Playboy. It would give her a stronger presence on the Czech publishing scene.

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What Good Is A Teacher If His Pupil Can’t One Up Him?

Haresh Shah

bowtie3b

I am talking to Ivan (Chocholouš) on the kitchen phone, looking out at the first tulips that have popped up in the flower bed in the backyard of my house in Evanston. It’s Wednesday the April 17th, in the year 1991. It’s been hectic as can be. I have taken off half a day to stay home and work on the final details of the launch in Czechoslovakia – only eight days away, Based on what Ivan reports from Prague, everything seems to be going smoothly with organizing of the launch events. The press conference, welcoming of the  European editors, catering, transportation. And the most importantly, now that I have signed off on every single page, the first issue is now ready to roll off the presses.

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