Variety owner buys Rolling Stone

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The competition was stiff, with reported bids from Eldridge Industries, music producer Irving Azoff and BandLab, the Singapore-based company that bought 49% of Wenner Media past year. Per the transaction, Wenner will become editorial director of Rolling Stone, and his son, Gus, will remain its president and chief operating officer, while also joining PMC's advisory board.

In September 2016, Wenner Media sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies, a startup for making and sharing music based in Singapore.

Wenner Media was represented by Methuselah Advisors and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Well before that stain on its reputation, however, Rolling Stone suffered significant growing pains in adapting to the digital era. And while Goldberg has now founded two digital startups, he doesn't have any experience with print, which accounts for the majority of Rolling Stone's business today.

The investment cost Penske over $100 million, Variety reported.


Variety, which was bought by Penske in 2012, reports that several bidders were kicking the company's tires before Penske's announcement last night: Azoff MSG Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan; Rizvi Travers, owner of Playboy; and Todd Boehly, the owner of Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, SPIN, Vibe and Stereogum (all within a group that is reportedly up for sale itself).

Rolling Stone, which was founded in 1967, has always been a leader in music and pop culture journalism.

In a statement, Gus Wenner said that, "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".

Second, his refusal to offload Rolling Stone at the height of its value a few years later, around 2008. Perhaps that's also because in a YouTube + Spotify age, there's no reason to read about a band when you can hear and see them with a single push of a button. But he'll still be able to keep a piece - presumably a small one - of the property that allowed him to become a media star himself.

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