May 10, 2021

After 50 years of history, Rolling Stone is up for sale

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Gus Wenner, son of Rolling Stone founder Jan and president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, said in a statement that the company wanted to “explore strategic options for its majority interest in Rolling Stone to best position the brand for future growth.”

Wenner Media has already sold Us Weekly and Men’s Journal to American Media.

“We have made great strides transforming Rolling Stone into a multi-platform company, and we are thrilled to find the right home to build on our strong foundation and grow the business exponentially,” Gus Wenner said.

The magazine was founded by Jan Wenner in San Francisco in 1967 and it quickly became a beacon for the emerging rock ‘n’ roll counterculture, putting on its iconic covers everyone from The Doors to Janis Joplin, from Bob Dylan to The Rolling Stones, of course.

Rolling Stone also often featured world-renowned writers such as Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe. Music critic Lester Bangs took his first journalistic steps there.

However, a false story about rape on the campus of the University of Virginia, published in November 2014 and later retracted, seriously undermined the magazine’s reputation.

“I love my job, I enjoy it, I’ve enjoyed it for a long time,” Jan Wenner, 71, toldThe New York Times, adding though that the sale was “just the smart thing to do.”

Wenner Media says Rolling Stone is a “multi-platform content brand with unrivalled access and authority,” reaching an audience of over 60 million people per month.

“Over the past three years, the brand’s digital traffic has grown nearly 50%, its social media presence has grown over 100% and its monthly video views are up more than 700%,” it says.

The Wenners in September 2016 sold off 49% of Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies, a company based in Singapore. BandLab is a cloud platform where musicians and fans collaborate to create music.

IMAGE;People view covers of the Rolling Stone magazines at the “Rolling Stone 50 Years” exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in ClevelandIMAGE: AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

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