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Penske Media steps in to inject new life into Rolling Stone

Iconic Rolling Stone images

Digital mediahouse Penske Media has stepped in to aquire a majority interest in Wenner Media, the family company that founded and ran rock bible Rolling Stone.

The classic publication was put up for sale earlier this year after founder Jann S Wenner admitted that it was “time for young people to run it” and modernize the brand. He said so after selling its other titles Us Weekly and Men’s Journal.

Penske, which owns 22 digital news brands including Deadline, Variety and IndyWire, boasted 179 million monthly active users as of August 2016. Company head Jay Penske said: "Our interest in Rolling Stone is driven by its people, its cultural significance, and the globally-recognized brand that has no peer in its areas of influence.

"We believe that Penske Media is uniquely qualified to partner with the Wenners to ensure the brand continues to ascend for decades across multiple media platforms — we're eager to get started."

Wenner added that the tie-up was “a perfect match”. It will look to grow the publication beyond its reach of 60 million people. With the move, Wenner becomes editorial director, meanwhile Gus Wenner remains president, chief operating officer and joins the Penske board.

Singapore-based music start-up BandLab Technologies will remain a partner with a 49% stake in Rolling Stone.

Deadline, a member of Penske Media reports that the deal went through for $100m.

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