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Playboy operations bunny-hopping to L.A.

Playboy File / AFP - GETTY IMAGES

A December 1953 photo shows Playboy founder Hugh Hefner with the magazine's first issue, featuring Marilyn Monroe.

After 58 years as an institution synonymous with Chicago — among other things — Playboy is uprooting to a climate somewhat more appropriate for its Playmates' attire: Los Angeles.

Playboy, which Hugh Hefner founded in the Windy City in 1953, announced Tuesday that the magazine's editorial, art and photo departments would be relocating by next May.

"Some of the magazine's Chicago employees have been asked to relocate, while others have been asked to stay on in Chicago to ensure a seamless transition. Open key positions will be hired out of Los Angeles," the company said, according to NBC station WMAQ of Chicago.

A company spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune that no decisions had been made about other departments at the Chicago headquarters, including human resources, public relations, legal, accounting and information technology.

Hefner took Playboy private in January as the company's circulation and staff dwindled. After hitting a circulation of more than 7 million in 1972, the magazine was down to 1.5 million last year, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation. The company cut its staff from 679 in 2008 to 530 last year.

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