Penske Media Corporation Acquires Controlling Interest in 'Rolling Stone' Parent Company Wenner Media

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Jann Wenner, editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone during Rolling Stone Magazine Celebrates their 1,000th Issue at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. 

Penske Media Corporation announced Wednesday (Dec. 20) that it has acquired a 51 percent majority share in Wenner Media, parent company of Rolling Stone, gaining controlling interest in the iconic magazine. 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the investment values Wenner Media at about $100 million, the New York Times reports. Singapore-based music technology company BandLab will retain its 49 percent stake that was purchased last year. 

 

The transition, which is expected to occur over the next six months, is aiming to help Rolling Stone adjust to the digital era by revamping everything from the publication’s online operations to its events business, according to Variety. The investment is also the largest for PMC, which parents other notable publications such as Variety, DeadlineHollywood Life and WWD.

“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,” Penske Media CEO Jay Penske said in a statement. “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.”

According to the press release, Wenner Media will continue to hold editorial oversight of the rock ‘n’ roll magazine with co-founder Jann Wenner maintaining his position as editorial director and his son Gus Wenner, staying on as well as president/COO. 

“We have such a unique and special product in Rolling Stone, and we are excited to build on its strong foundation and invest in its future through this partnership,” added Gus Wenner.  

Rolling Stone will continue to be based in New York, but Variety reports it is expected to move out of its current home to PMC’s Manhattan headquarters sometime next year.

Jann Wenner's decision to sell his stake in Wenner Media was announced in September. He has led the magazine since it launched in 1967.