Cultural bible, The Rolling Stone, has been put up for sale by publisher Wenner Media during a period of accelerated consolidation at the company.
Following the sale of the independent publisher’s other titles, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal, the company is now selling its lead property, The Rolling Stone.
Rolling Stone founder and owner Jann S Wenner is reluctantly looking to sell his 51% share in the mag that outweighs the 49% owned by Singaporean music tech start-up BandLab Technologies – a group owned by Asian tycoon Kuok Meng Ry.
Speaking to The New York Times, Wenner said: “I love my job, I enjoy it, I’ve enjoyed it for a long time,” but added that the sale was “just the smart thing to do”.
On the decline of print revenues in an increasingly digital and competitive market, Wenner said: “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.
“Publishing is a completely different industry than what it was,” he added. “The trends go in one direction, and we are very aware of that.”
The 71-year-old said “I think it’s time for young people to run it,” although he admitted he’d like to hold on to his op-ed column if the new owners permitted it.
The publication, throughout its time touched upon many cultural waypoints throughout the five decades of its operation. It’s reputation was somewhat diminished in 2014 however when it published, retracted and paid the price for running a story about a supposed gang rape at the University of Virginia.