Rolling Stone magazine, which became “the counterculture bible for baby boomers” after being founded by a 21-year-old Jann Wenner in a San Francisco loft in 1967, is for sale, The New York Times reports.
“Rolling Stone defined cool, cultivated literary icons and produced star-making covers that were such coveted real estate they inspired a song,” The Times reports. “But the headwinds buffeting the publishing industry, and some costly strategic missteps, have steadily taken a financial toll on Rolling Stone, and a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.
“And so, after a half-century reign that propelled him into the realm of the rock stars and celebrities who graced his covers, Mr. Wenner is putting his company’s controlling stake in Rolling Stone up for sale, relinquishing his hold on a publication he has led since its founding.”
Wenner, 71, left plans for the sale up to his son Gus, 27, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media. The report notes that Gus Wenner “has aggressively pared down the assets of Rolling Stone’s parent company, Wenner Media, in response to financial pressures. The Wenners recently sold the company’s other two magazines, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal. And last year, they sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies, a music technology company based in Singapore.”
Said Jann Wenner: “I love my job, I enjoy it, I’ve enjoyed it for a long time.” But he added that letting go of the publication was “just the smart thing to do.”