NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2017 — Penske Media Corporation (PMC) and Wenner Media today announced Penske Media's strategic investment in Wenner Media, majority owner of Rolling Stone, the leading voice of music, politics and pop culture for 50 years.
Since its founding in 1967 by Jann Wenner and Ralph J. Gleason, Rolling Stone has defined pop culture for generations of readers and is one of the most iconic brands in publishing and music. Today, five decades later, Rolling Stone has evolved into a multi-platform content brand with unrivalled access and authority, reaching over 60 million people per month. Throughout an evolving media landscape, Rolling Stone has always stayed true to its mission to tell exceptional stories that illuminate the culture of our times.
“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,” said Penske Media chairman and CEO Jay Penske. “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.”
“I am so proud of our accomplishments over the past 50 years and know Penske Media is the ideal match for us to thrive in today's media landscape,” said Jann Wenner, editorial director of Wenner Media.
“We couldn't ask for a better partner than Jay and Penske Media to invest in our company's future success. They understand the importance and impact of Rolling Stone, and we are thrilled for this opportunity to grow our business together,” said Gus Wenner, president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media.
Penske Media has a proven track record in acquiring, investing in, and growing content and editorial teams while evolving iconic brands in today's competitive digital media landscape. Through the acquisition and turnaround of Fairchild Media—which includes Women's Wear Daily (WWD), Footwear News (FN), and Beauty Inc—along with the evolution of Variety, Robb Report, and IndieWire, Penske Media has continually demonstrated their ability to successfully grow legendary media businesses while preserving the heritage and culture of each brand.
Penske Media's strategic investment in Wenner Media creates a formidable and compelling alliance for Rolling Stone's dominance in music, politics, entertainment and pop culture.
Penske Media, founded in 2003, is a leading digital media company with significant experience in the entertainment, technology, fashion, retail, and luxury media segments. Having made investments in over 18 industry-leading trade and consumer brands that include Variety, WWD, Robb Report, Deadline, Beauty Inc, FN, IndieWire, HollywoodLife, BGR, and other leading properties, Penske Media's digital media expertise and complementary portfolio will be key advantages in propelling Rolling Stone to significant growth, profitability and long-term success.
- Jann Wenner to become Editorial Director, and Gus Wenner to remain President & COO and also join Penske Media's Advisory Board.
- With Penske Media's strategic investment in Wenner Media, which maintains the majority control and editorial oversight for Rolling Stone, the publication will remain an independent authority on US pop culture and impactful political coverage.
- Singapore-based music start-up BandLab Technologies, which purchased a 49% stake in Rolling Stone in September 2016 for an undisclosed sum, continues as Wenner Media's partner in Rolling Stone.
- This investment complements Penske Media's existing entertainment media brands, which include Variety, Deadline.com, and IndieWire.
- Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, Rolling Stone will benefit from Penske Media's industry-leading expertise in digital media, live events, and leveraging a best-in-class infrastructure for growth and continued journalistic excellence, as has been accomplished with Penske Media-owned Variety Media and Fairchild Media, which include Variety, WWD, FN and Beauty Inc.
- The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.
- Wenner Media was represented by Methuselah Advisors and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Penske Media was represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
Penske Media Corporation (PMC) is a leading digital media and information services company whose award-winning content attracts a monthly audience of more than 180 million and empowers more than 1 million global CEOs and business thought-leaders in markets that impact the world. Our dynamic events, data services, and rich content entertain and educate today's fashion, retail, beauty, entertainment and lifestyle sectors. Headquartered in New York and Los Angeles with additional offices in 11 countries worldwide, Penske Media is the way global influencers are informed, connected, and inspired. To learn more about PMC and its iconic brands, visit www.pmc.com.
ABOUT WENNER MEDIA AND ROLLING STONE
Wenner Media LLC, a privately held company headquartered in New York City, publishes Rolling Stone. The number one brand in music publishing, Rolling Stone has been the leading voice of music and popular culture for 50 years. The multi-media brand features the latest in music reviews, in-depth interviews, hard-hitting political commentary and award-winning journalism across many platforms including magazine, digital, mobile, social and event marketing. Rolling Stone provides “all the news that fits” to a global audience of approximately 60 million fans of the brand every month. Rolling Stone is owned by Wenner Media and BandLab Technologies. For more information, please visit www.rollingstone.com.
SOURCE Penske Media Corporation
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