Penske Media Corp., owner of WWD, Variety, Hollywood Life, Deadline.com and Robb Report among other publications, has acquired a controlling stake in Rolling Stone.
“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 chief executive officer 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.”
Penske Media Corp. adds Rolling Stone to a portfolio that includes industry leading publications, including Variety, acquired in 2012 from Reed Business Information, and Fairchild Fashion Media, which it acquired in 2014 from Condé Nast, in a deal that included WWD, its archive, Footwear News, and the Fairchild Summits and events business.
Rolling Stone, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, was founded in 1967 by Jann Wenner to cover the rock ‘n’ roll counterculture scene. In the past five decades, the publication has grown into a multiplatform brand that covers celebrity, pop culture and politics.
“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, who will stay on as 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, who will retain his position as president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media and join Penske Media’s advisory board.
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 more than 18 industry-leading trade and consumer brands that include Variety, WWD, Robb Report, Deadline, Beauty Inc, FN, IndieWire, 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.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.