According to numerous reports, Wenner Media is considering putting its 51% controlling stake in Rolling Stone magazine up for sale.
If the sale goes ahead, it will be another milestone in the transformation and decline of music print media- the iconic publication was founded in 1967 by 21 year old Jann Wenner from his loft, growing to cover the nascent rock counter culture and becoming one of the most respected music magazines in history.
However, in a familiar narrative, the title has been struggling as of late due to a decline in sales and ad revenues, exacerbated by a $1.65m settlement of a defamation case relating to a retracted article about an unproven rape on the campus of the University of Virginia.
Wenner Media sold a 49% stake in the title to Singapore-based company BandLab Technologies in 2016.
The company is now exploring “strategic options for its majority interest in Rolling Stone to best position the brand for future growth”. Reading between the jargon, this is basically a huge ‘For sale’ sign with Wenner telling the New York Times that he is seeking a buyer with “lots of money” (naturally) who understands the magazine.
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