Porn’s Most Powerful Players 2013

Performers 100355409-triple-x-neon-sign-gettyP.600x400might take the spotlight in the porn industry, but they rarely (if ever) have any of the power.

Instead, the people pulling the strings often tend to remain behind the scenes. While some have familiar names, the majority prefer to keep a low profile. And more and more, the most powerful people in porn have no direct ties to onscreen sex.

CNBC spoke with industry insiders, ranging from executives to stars, to get their thoughts on who are the true power brokers in the world of porn today.


Syphilis Outbreak Prompts Porn Shutdown

For the third time in three years, adult movie studios have largely shut down production as a precautionary measure after a performer was diagnosed with a potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease but didn’t immediately disclose it.

A male performer in the Los Angeles porn community was reportedly diagnosed with syphilis last month, but apparently hid the fact from producers, prompting fears of a spread among other actors and actresses. Several big studios have voluntarily suspended production for an unspecified period, while the Free Speech Coalition (a trade group that represents the adult entertainment industry) has called for a moratorium on filming until all performers have been re-tested for the disease.


Hollywood, Gaming Execs Step Into Porn Takeover Battle

The already hostile takeover fight for New Frontier Media, the publicly traded owner of nine adult-themed pay-per-view networks, has expanded to include a pair of Hollywood power players – one of whom is also a former video game executive.

Longkloof Limited, which launched the bidding in early March, recently announced its intention to nominate four new board members at New Frontier’s annual meeting in an apparent attempt to push its $19 million offer through. (Porn giant Manwin has made a competing $24 million offer for the company.)


Takeover Battle Looms for Publicly Traded Porn Company

Despite a widely publicized downturn in porn industry profits over the past few years, investors still think there’s money to be made there – so much so that a bidding war has erupted for one of the few publicly traded companies with ties to the adult industry.

New Frontier Media, which oversees nine adult-themed pay-per-view networks, including XTSY, TEN and Penthouse TV, has received a pair of unsolicited takeover offers this month as the company’s stock has hovered under $2 per share for over a year.