Rolling Stone's Parent Company Sells Controlling Stake

Posted December 23, 2017

But only one could emerge with the prize of the long-running and instantly recognizable property, and that victor is Penske Media Corporation, Variety reports.

Wenner, who founded the magazine in 1967 in San Francisco with music critic Ralph Gleason, will become the publication's editorial director.

Rolling Stone, which turned 50 this year, has been acquired by Penske Media, the corporation that owns other titles/brands such as Variety, Deadline, Indie Wire, Women's Wear Daily and more.

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

Variety, which was bought by Penske in 2012, reports that several bidders were kicking the company's tires before Penske's announcement last night: Azoff MSG Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan; Rizvi Travers, owner of Playboy; and Todd Boehly, the owner of Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, SPIN, Vibe and Stereogum (all within a group that is reportedly up for sale itself).

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but according to the Financial Times the agreement values the publication at approximately $110m (£82m) and marks the end of Wenner Media's control of Rolling Stone.

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Jann Wenner called the partnership "an ideal match", while Gus Wenner said, "We are thrilled for this opportunity to grow our business together". The company, which says it has a monthly audience of more than 180 million people, is based in NY and Los Angeles.

Rolling Stone's covers minted stars.

"I'm confident that the setup we have now is the best possible setup for the future of Rolling Stone".

Wenner Media was previously valued at $50 million. But he'll still be able to keep a piece - presumably a small one - of the property that allowed him to become a media star himself. Penske Media was represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. His name, however, was synonymous with Rolling Stone.

Updated, 11:45 a.m., December 21 with details of a settlement reached over Rolling Stone's misreporting on a story of rape at the University of Virginia.

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