Rolling Stone magazine gets new owner after 50 years

Variety publisher Penske Media has acquired a controlling stake in venerable pop culture chronicle Rolling Stone and Wenner Media, founded by Jann Wenner 50 years ago in San Francisco, the companies announced December 19.

In a major move, Penske Media Corp. and Wenner Media today announced Penske's strategic investment in Wenner Media, majority owner of iconic music and pop culture publication Rolling Stone.

BandLab, a Singapore-based business that owns a 49% share of the magazine, will retain its stake.

Jann Wenner called the partnership "an ideal match", while Gus Wenner said, "We are thrilled for this opportunity to grow our business together". His son Gus, who has driven the magazine's digital strategy for several years, will remain president and chief operating officer and join an advisory board at Penske, which owns almost two dozen media brands including WWD, Hollywood trade website Deadline and Hollywood Life.

Rolling Stone, which was founded in 1967, has always been a leader in music and pop culture journalism. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but the New York Times reports that the investment values Wenner Media at roughly $100 million.

Who? Well, Penske Media Corporation might not be a household name, but they own a number of recognizable properties, including Variety, Indiewire, and Deadline.


It is the biggest investment in a single title that PMC has made, and rivals the amount paid for Fairchild Publications and its titles that include Women's Wear Daily.

Writers who found a home at Rolling Stone included P.J.

"I'm confident that the setup we have now is the best possible setup for the future of Rolling Stone".

In any case, it's no longer Jann Wenner's problem. "This will allow us to do that in a way we haven't been able to do over the last couple of years".

Earlier this year, the publisher also offloaded celebrity magazine Us Weekly and men's lifestyle Men's Monthly to American Media, whose portfolio includes the National Enquirer.

Wenner Media was represented by Methuselah Advisors and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. With last night's announcement, he won't have to.

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