Rolling Stone Magazine Has a New Owner
Rolling Stone has a new majority owner.
Jay Penske’s Penske Media, publisher of Variety, Deadline, Robb Report, and IndieWire has bought a majority stake in Wenner Media, the New York-based publisher of Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, and Glixel, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The deal will give Penske control over Wenner Media's 51% stake in its flagship brand, Rolling Stone. The remaining 49% will remain under the ownership of BandLabs Technologies, a Singapore-based company that bought the minority stake last year and exercised its right of first refusal to acquire the remainder of the magazine, Recode reports.
The 50-year-old, San Francisco-founded magazine will remain editorially independent. Co-founder Jann Wenner will stay on board as editorial director and his son, Gus Wenner, will remain president and COO.
Other bidders who were reportedly interested in buying the magazine were Irving Azoff (with money from New York Knicks-owner Charles Dolan) and Bryan Goldberg, CEO of Bustle and co-founder of the Bleacher Report. The other two would have made strange bedfellows with the legacy magazine that continues to draw most of its revenue from print sales. Azoff and Dolan have no publishing experience and Goldberg has only led online publications.
Details of the deal have not been officially disclosed, but its value is reportedly just over $100 million.