If you’ve always wanted to own a magazine, now might be your chance. Buzz60’s Angeli Kakade (@angelikakade) has the story.
Rolling Stone co-founder, editor and publisher Jann Wenner is looking to sell the iconic music magazine, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Wenner Media, which also owns video game news site Glixel, has initiated a process “to explore strategic options” as a way to “best position the brand for future growth,” the privately-held company said in a statement Monday.
Wenner and son Gus, president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, said the company had hired bankers to explore a sale in an interview with The New York Times, which first reported the development.
Jann Wenner, 71, told the Times he hoped to sell the magazine to a buyer who has “lots of money” and understands Rolling Stone‘s mission. “I think it’s time for young people to run it,” he said.
He founded the magazine, characterized by the Times as “the counterculture bible for baby boomers,” in San Francisco in 1967 with music journalist Ralph Gleason.
The magazine became the home of writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, who provided gonzo journalism pieces including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and Tom Wolfe, whose early Rolling Stone stories on NASA’s space program evolved into The Right Stuff. During more than 10 years at Rolling Stone, photographer Annie Leibovitz shot 140-plus covers including one of John Lennon and Yoko One just hours before he was shot on Dec. 8, 1980.
Wenner has pared down Wenner Media’s holdings recently. In April, the publisher sold Men’s Journal to American Media, owner of the National Enquirer and OK! weeklies, just a month after also sellingUs Weekly to American Media.
In September 2016, Wenner Media sold 49% of Rolling Stone to social music company BandLab Technologies of Singapore as part of its strategy to expand the brand’s digital business.
Industry shifts have hurt Rolling Stone, just as it has other magazines with print advertising declines and circulation struggles. Still, Rolling Stone‘s paid circulation has remained at about 1.5 million since 2014, according to Alliance for Audited Media.
But the magazine took an additional hit to its reputation when it retracted a 2014 story about a purported gang rape on the campus of the University of Virginia. A jury awarded the college’s…