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Counterculture For Sale: Jann Wenner Puts Rolling Stone On The Market

Counterculture For Sale: Jann Wenner Puts Rolling Stone On The Market

A half-century after the Summer of Love, Rolling Stone is being put up for sale by Jann Wenner, who started the publication in a San Francisco loft with $7,500 and a vision of capturing the essence of the rock ‘n’ roll generation in print.

Wenner, 71, already sold a 49 percent stake to the online music platform BandLab in 2016. He previously sold off the titles Us Weekly and Men’s Journal to American Media Inc.

Rolling Stone’s print advertising and sales have fallen, in line with the publishing industry’s downward trend. Wenner told The New York Times he hopes to find a buyer who understands the magazine’s mission and has “lots of money.”

“Rolling Stone has played such a role in the history of our times, socially and politically and culturally,” Wenner told the Times. “We want to retain that position.”

The magazine’s invaluable cover space was graced with images made by staff photographer Annie Leibovitz in Rolling Stone’s 1970s heyday and with vivid, arresting illustrations by Ralph Steadman that accompanied breakthrough works by writer Hunter S. Thompson such as “Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.”

Leibovitz photographed a nude John Lennon embracing his wife Yoko Ono hours before the Beatle was assassinated in New York City on Dec. 8, 1980. Cameron Crowe’s reportage for Rolling Stone beginning at age 15 on bands such as Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers and the Eagles later formed the basis of the film “Almost Famous.”

In the internet age, writer Matt Taibbi’s coverage of the financial meltdown and a piece by the late Michael Hastings that led to the resignation of General Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan commander, have been noteworthy. But in 2014, the magazine published a feature on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia that was retracted one year later and led to defamation lawsuits, souring its journalistic reputation.

Related Links:

The Best Parts Of Rolling Stone's Takedown Of Goldman Sachs Amid Trump's Appointment Of Gary Cohn

News Media Alliance: Publishers Are Fed Upn Playing By Google And Facebook's Rules

Image Credit: By Rolling Stone, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons


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