Rolling Stone , the iconic 50-year-old magazine of music and counterculture, is putting itself up for sale amid an increasingly uncertain outlook, its founder said.
Jann Wenner — who started Rolling Stone in 1967 as a hippie student in Berkeley, California and now runs it with his son Gus — told The New York Times that the future looked tough for a family-run publisher.
Focussed on rock
“There’s a level of ambition that we can’t achieve alone,” Gus Wenner told the newspaper in an interview published late on Sunday. “So we are being proactive and want to get ahead of the curve,” he said.
One of the most influential magazines covering rock music, Rolling Stone has also been a home for experimental writers such as the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
But the magazine’s reputation — and finances — were badly damaged when it retracted a 2014 story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, with a review finding that Rolling Stone did not undertake basic journalistic procedures to verify the facts.
Sale of 49% stake
Rolling Stone last year sold a 49% stake to a Singaporean music and technology start-up, BandLab Technologies, which is headed by Kuok Meng Ru, the scion of one of Asia’s richest families.
It was not immediately known if Mr. Kuok would want to take a controlling stake in Rolling Stone .
The Wenner family earlier this year sold its other two titles — celebrity magazine U.S. Weekly and lifestyle monthly Men’s Journal — to American Media, Inc., a publisher of supermarket tabloids including The National Enquirer .