Rolling Stone Goes Up For Sale, But Who Buys Magazines? [VIDEO]

Rolling Stone Goes Up For Sale, But Who Buys Magazines? [VIDEO]

Rolling Stone Goes Up For Sale, But Who Buys Magazines? [VIDEO]

The handwriting has been on the wall for a long time, but Rolling Stone is going up for sale, courtesy of its majority-interest controlling owner and publisher, Jann Wenner. Wenner, who made himself into a celebrity over the course of decades publishing the once-edgy magazine that covered music and pop culture, is also hoping that some deep pockets will take over the magazine.

Wenner Media has hired bankers to explore its sale, but the process is just beginning. BandLab’s stake in the company could also complicate matters. Neither Jann nor Gus Wenner would name any potential buyers, but one possible suitor is American Media Inc., the magazine publisher led by David J. Pecker that has already taken Us Weekly and Men’s Journal off Wenner Media’s hands.

The Wenners said that they expected a range of opportunities, and Jann Wenner said he hoped to find a buyer that understood Rolling Stone’s mission and that had “lots of money.”
“Rolling Stone has played such a role in the history of our times, socially and politically and culturally,” he said. “We want to retain that position.”

Yes, who wouldn’t want to buy a magazine with such a rich and storied history of trying to make terrorists into dreamy hipsters?

Rolling Stone cover from August 1, 2013


And let’s not even begin to get into why the magazine is completely in the red. There was the $1 million in damages that Rolling Stone and Wenner Media were held responsible for after the complete self-inflicted disaster of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia that ended up being completely false, and then retracted by Rolling Stone. (Erdely ended up with a $2 million judgement against her personally, as the author.) Wenner did not come off well in the defamation trial, where both he (as the publisher of the magazine via his company Wenner Media) and Erdely were found liable, with malice.


Rolling Stone also settled the lawsuit against it from the UVA fraternity just this last June for $1.65 million. All those millions sure do add up fast.

And now Wenner thinks his magazine actually still has enough value, amidst declining sales in an increasingly digital market, with all of its debts and damaged reputation, to command a buyer with “lots of money” who will let him and his son continue on at the magazine? Yes, he said that:

Both Jann and Gus Wenner, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, said they intended to stay on at Rolling Stone. But they said they also recognized that the decision could ultimately be up to the new owner.

Greg Gutfeld offered up his thoughts, and what Rolling Stone was actually worth.


Is anyone actually going to miss Rolling Stone if it isn’t bought and goes under? Given the decline of the magazine medium and the black eye on Rolling Stone itself, I doubt it.

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3 Comments
  • mreed says:

    Oh, we can only hope that American Media/David Pecker ends up with them! He also owns National Enquirer and is a die-hard, heavy-hitting supporter of Trump, with deep pockets and a history of turning around failed products. One of the big pluses – progressive liberals in media hate him … read the hit piece profile in a recent New Yorker. A right-wing leaning Rolling Stone would be sure not to include Wenner or anyone like him. Woohoo! Oh, and it might go back to covering music for fans as well.

  • Kathleen Barry says:

    I met a group of the Rolling Stone editors about 25 years ago, they were heading to Canada to go skiing, they were the most obnoxious and snooty bunch of guys I had ever had to deal with and ever sense I would not buy the magazine.

  • GTB says:

    I’ll buy it. I’ll just fire the entire staff, and hire real journalists…not hitmen.

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