Business News Deals Media

Variety owner buys Rolling Stone

By | Published on Thursday 21 December 2017

Rolling Stone

The owner of entertainment industry title Variety has bought a controlling stake in Rolling Stone magazine. Jay Penske’s Penske Media Corporation, which bought Variety in 2012, will acquire the 51% of the Rolling Stone company still owned by its founder Jann Wenner.

As previously reported, Wenner Media, facing the same challenges as most traditional magazine owners in the digital age, last year sold a 49% stake in the title to Singapore-based company BandLab Technologies.

It then sold two other titles it also owned to help pay off some long-term debts, before indicating in September that it was now considering bids for the other 51% of the business.

Wenner and his son Gus will continue to oversee the operations of Rolling Stone, the former as Editorial Director and the latter as President. A new Editor In Chief will also be appointed.

The Wenners are spinning the sale as a major investment in Rolling Stone that will enable it to evolve and expand. Certainly, for his part, Penske says he is committed to the music title for the longhaul, stating that: “Like all of our investments, our holding period is a very long time. It’s forever”.

Gus Wenner added: “Rolling Stone’s past, present and future is in great storytelling and that’s where we want to put our investment. Jay has shown repeatedly that he has a deep belief in investing in content and investing in the product. This will allow us to do that in a way we haven’t been able to do over the last couple of years”.

BandLab will seemingly remain a partner in the Rolling Stone business, and PMC says it has already met with the Singapore company’s founder to discuss the nature of that partnership.