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February 11, 2003 12:36pm
AVN Turns 20
Source: AVN
by: Company Press Release

(CHATSWORTH, CA) -- AVN, the leading trade publication covering the adult entertainment industry, celebrates its 20th year with a Platinum Anniversary edition. The collector's issue also includes a unique platinum metallic cover, a reproduction of the first edition of Adult Video News and all 240 subsequent covers.

Paul Fishbein, founder and publisher of the magazine and CEO of the parent AVN Media Network, says in a candid interview with editor-in-chief Mike Ramone and other senior staffers that the magazine has become "A branded name, well known in the media, the mainstream and all over the world. I don't think we try to play power games. I think we just play it as straight as we can."

Mark Kernes, now senior editor of AVN and one of its first reviewers, recalls in an editorial entitled "Been Up So Long it Looks Like Down to Me" that he was incredulous when asked by Mr. Fishbein in 1983 to write reviews of adult videos: "They're going to pay me to watch pornography!!!"

Mr. Fishbein traces the history of the most influential magazine in adult entertainment and notes that AVN now covers DVDs, novelties, adult print and the legal side of the adult entertainment business. The company has been strengthened through the launch of AVN Online magazine to cover the adult Internet market, plus major trade shows like Adult Entertainment Expo and Internext. He says the company's AVN.com Website gets two million original hits a month and AVN is now the only full-fledged media network serving all aspects of the industry.

Asked by his editors how "A nice Jewish boy from Philly became the King of Porn?" Mr. Fishbein recalls that he and some fellow graduates of Temple University launched the magazine while working in a retail adult video store and discovering the need for objective reviews of the video titles they sold. With tongue in cheek he says, "It could have been any subject matter; it could have been, you know, Tablecloth Monthly. I never thought it would be a business like this."

The first issue of Adult Video News in February 1983 included a review of "Debbie does Dallas, Part Ii," which was termed a "scorcher." the magazine predicted, "This tantalizing tale will always have a strong following."

Today AVN provides a serious forum for discussion of the business and content side of pornography. The anniversary issue includes a roundtable discussion by top adult feature directors who respond to questions such as "Does porn imitate life? Or is it the other way around? Do smut peddlers have a responsibility to their audience? Or is their only responsibility to their own creative vision and bottom line?"

The magazine also used the occasion of the 20th anniversary edition to introduce "AVN's Top 100 Stocking Guide," a new quarterly feature that includes the 100 best-reviewed VHS and DVD releases, both straight and gay, of the preceding three months. The tear-out card includes AVN's highly regarded "A" rating system, in which a five "A" rating is the highest accolade a title can receive.

About AVN:

The AVN Media Network is the leading independent authority in adult entertainment, covering the industry 'in Print, in Person and Online.' the network includes the monthly magazines AVN and AVN Online, the leading adult industry trade shows Adult Entertainment Expo and Internext, the consumer show Erotica LA, and online content through the AVN.com news and information portal, along with cutting edge industry e-newsletters. AVN also hosts the annual AVN Awards ceremony every January in Las Vegas. For more information visit AVN.com.

Patti Rogers

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