Hannah Davis: Don’t take the cover so seriously

Hannah Davis, this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl, has one message for her critics: "Don't take [the cover] so seriously."

Davis told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday she didn't understand why consumers were so critical of her cover photo. "You can't see anything," she said. Davis and the magazine drew criticism after the issue's release on Monday, as critics found the cover to be too risqué.

Read More New Harper Lee novel to be published in July

Brendan Ripp, the magazine's publisher, said in the same interview that the swimsuit issue always draws large amounts of criticism. "We've been doing this for 51 years, and for all 51 covers people have various opinions," he said. "We're comfortable with that."

Model Hannah Davis
Ilya S. Savenok | WireImage | Getty Images
Model Hannah Davis

Ripp added that the magazine has incorporated different platforms, including video and digital, as well as a series of events, in order to reach more consumers and adapt to the changing times. "We continue to push the franchise into more mediums and not think of ourselves as a print-only franchise," he said.

Time, Sports Illustrated's parent company, will also increase its digital content across the board, Ripp said. "You'll see [more] content on People.com, EW.com, InStyle.com, and obviously on SI.com," he said. "We didn't view this as a Sports Illustrated-only launch. We looked at it as a Time launch."

Read MoreMedia Titans Murdoch and Bloomberg at Play in Politics and News