The company is exploring sale options
Rolling Stone, the number one brand in music publishing, is up for sale. Owner Wenner Media has announced that it has initiated a process to explore strategic options for its majority interest in the 50 year old music and pop culture magazine for “future growth.”
Since its inception, Rolling Stone has defined pop culture for generations of readers, and is one of the most iconic brands in publishing and music. Five decades later, Rolling Stone has evolved into a multi-platform content brand with unrivaled access and authority, which reaches 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%. Throughout, Rolling Stone has stayed true to its mission to tell exceptional stories that illuminate the culture of our times.
“Rolling Stone is a uniquely powerful brand with enormous opportunities to succeed in today’s environment,” says Gus Wenner, president and chief operating officer of Wenner 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.”
Besides print media diminishing overall, the publication took a brutal beating when it published a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia. The publication retracted the story but lost its reputation and had to pay $3 million in damages to the plaintiff after several lawsuits were filed.
“There’s a level of ambition that we can’t achieve alone,” Gus Wenner tells the New York Times from the magazine’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. “So we are being proactive and want to get ahead of the curve. Publishing is a completely different industry than what it was. The trends go in one direction, and we are very aware of that.”
The exploration of the sale is in its infancy. The Wenners are expecting a range of opportunities, but are hoping to find a buyer with “lots of money.”
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.