Rolling Stone magazine, the 50-year-old legend of the rock ‘n’ roll music and popular culture, is for sale amid an increasingly uncertain outlook.
The founder Jann Wenner, 71, told the New York Times the future looked tough for a family-run publisher. Wenner started Rolling Stone with Ralph Gleason in 1967 in San Francisco, as a student in Berkeley, and now runs it with his son Gus. Gleason died in 1975.
“I love my job, I enjoy it, I’ve enjoyed it for a long time,” Wenner told The Times. But selling now is “just the smart thing to do,” he said. His son Gus added:
His son Gus added: “There’s a level of ambition that we can’t achieve alone. So we are being proactive and want to get ahead of the curve,” he said.
Wenner’s company, Wenner Media, publisher of Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, and Glixel brands, said in a statement Sunday night that it was looking at “strategic options … to best position the brand for future growth.”
Rolling Stone in 2016 sold a 49% stake to a Singaporean music and technology start-up, BandLab Technologies, owned by a billionaire’s son to build the legendary brand in Asia and worldwide.
Wenner company sold in 2017 its other two magazines Us Weekly and lifestyle monthly Men’s Journal, to American Media Inc., publisher of supermarket tabloids and The National Enquirer.
In case the American Media will buy the magazine, the owner, David Pecker, would mark a sharp change in its ideologies, as he is Donald Trump ally. Traditionally, Rolling Stone has a leftwing outlook and supported Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
The reputation and finances of one of the most influential magazines damaged in 2014 after the magazine investigation “A Rape on Campus” at the University of Virginia, was significantly false.