Variety Publisher Penske Media Acquires Majority of Rolling Stone, Wenner Media

He will remain on as president/COO of Wenner Media.

The downturn in the print magazine industry and a series of strategic mishaps have piled pressure on Wenner Media, which a year ago sold a 49% stake in the magazine to Singapore-based BandLab Technologies, a music start-up founded by one of Asia's richest families. Now however, Penske media has made its way into the picture. The companies said Wenner Media would retain "majority control and editorial oversight" of Rolling Stone.

Penske's plan is to continue the magazine as a consumer print publication, and invest heavily to exploit the iconic brand name and broaden its footprint into the business-to-business sector, as well as building up the magazine's already strong digital platform. It is reported to rival what it paid for Fairchild's stable of titles in 2014.

PMC owns Deadline Hollywood as well as Variety, Women's Wear Daily, IndieWire, and The Robb Report. He has sold off those other assets.

In recent years, it's been criticized for failing to jump on the digital bandwagon quickly enough, losing relevance - and ad dollars - as the popular music landscape changed and, most seriously, was sued for defamation over a cover story depicting an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.

Despite being renowned for its music coverage, political journalism soon became a staple of the publication, which featured a number of great writers, such as Joe Klein, Hunter S Thompson and Tom Wolfe.

"Our interest in Rolling Stone is driven by its people, its cultural significance and the globally recognised brand that has no peer in its areas of influence", he added. "We believe that Penske Media is uniquely qualified to partner with the Wenners to ensure the brand continues to ascend for decades across multiple platforms".

"We couldn't ask for a better partner than Jay and Penske Media to invest in our company's future success".

Under the deal, New York-based Wenner Media will maintain editorial oversight of Rolling Stone, which will remain an independent authority on US pop culture and political coverage, the companies said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the publisher also offloaded celebrity magazine Us Weekly and men's lifestyle Men's Monthly to American Media, whose portfolio includes the National Enquirer.

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