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PMC, owner of Variety, buys majority stake in Rolling Stone assets.

Jann Wenner is to remain with Rolling Stone, as Editorial Director.

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Penske Media will acquire an ownership interest in Rolling Stone’s majority owner, Wenner Media, shortly after the magazine celebrated its 50th anniversaryUSA Today.

Deadline (part of PMC)
Penske’s plan is to continue the magazine as a consumer print publication, and invest heavily to exploit the iconic brand name and broaden its footprint into the business-to-business sector, as well as building up the magazine’s already strong digital platform. PMC will invest in areas like the live event business and licensing. The music industry has revived itself as a viable industry in the streaming era, which makes it an attractive place to cross into B-to-B coverage.

The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Penske is betting he can find value in a well-known brand, even though Rolling Stone’s business has weakened over the past several years, amid industrywide pressures on the print publishing business.

“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.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRANSACTION:

  • Penske Media will own majority stake in Rolling Stone. The exact percentage has not been disclosed.
  • Jann Wenner is to remain with Rolling Stone, as Editorial Director.
  • Gus Wenner will remain as President & COO, with advisory board membership in Penske Media.
  • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in a statement from the companies.

CNBC reported that the deal:
“values Rolling Stone at more than $110 million, the Financial Times reported earlier, citing people briefed on the transaction.”

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.

“There is nothing more to be said or to be done tonight, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle

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