Penske Media Corporation announced on Wednesday it will buy a 51 percent stake in the New York-based publication, Rolling Stone magazine.
According to a source familiar with the matter, Rolling Stone’s publisher, Wenner Media, has an estimated value of $110 million, suggesting that Penske Media paid more than $50 million for the majority stake.
Once the acquisition is final, Rolling Stone co-founder, Jann Wenner will take the reins of Editorial Director of the magazine, according to the statement. Gus Wenner, the publisher’s Chief Operating Officer will also be granted a spot on Penske’s advisory board as a result of the deal.
Penske Media’s move doesn’t come as a surprise considering the company expressed interest in buying a large stake in Rolling Stone ever since September. This strategy will hopefully allow Penske Media, which currently owns trade publications such as Variety, Deadline and Women’s Wear Daily, to pivot from its print media business. Their ongoing business has suffered low ad revenues and this acquisition might steer them into a new market.
Rolling Stone magazine was founded by Jan Wenner in San Francisco in 1967 and ever since then, the publication has become synonymous with music exposes and popular culture. For decades, Rolling Stone magazine covered the most popular rock stars of the baby boomer generation as well as featuring works of writers such as Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson. In addition, the magazine is also a noteworthy political and cultural juggernaut.
“This is the greatest publishing brand covering music politics and culture,” said Jay Penske, Chief Executive of Penske Media. “It’s an incredible opportunity.”
Wenner auctioned Rolling Stone this September, just a year after selling a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to a Singapore-based global collective of music brands, BandLab Technologies Ltd.
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