The leftist magazine Rolling Stone, which The New York Times calls the "counterculture bible," has rolled its last stone to the bottom of the hill. The magazine that once displayed that creepy photo of naked John Lennon clinging to Yoko Ono on their cover, has now been acquired for $100 million.
Founded in 1967 by former Berkeley graduate and proud hippie Jann Wenner, the magazine has led the charge in pushing leftist values without even a modicum of balance or impartiality. In recent years, Rolling Stone has referred to President Bush as the "worst president in history," pushed for men to be able to use women's bathrooms, published a fawning article on Canada's PM Justin Trudeau, and, in perhaps its most egregious (and fatal) sin, published a false story that wrongfully accused a UVA fraternity of gang rape.
According to Deadline, PMC chief Jay Penske will be acquiring a "controlling interest in Wenner Media, the parent company of the venerable rock music bible Rolling Stone." The magazine's co-founder Jan Wenner will still take the role as editorial director while his son Gus continues as President/COO. The investment values Rolling Stone at $100 million.
"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," reports Deadline. "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."
Penske says that Rolling Stone's cultural significance goes without mention and that he will continue taking its brand to new heights.
"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."
Settling the UVA libel case put the largest dent in the magazine's reputation (and its bank account), forcing them to pay $3 million in damages for one of the worst mea culpa's in recent history. In an interview with The Guardian this year, Wenner called the article one of the magazine's greatest mistakes — "one of those perfect storms of errors."
Aside from its leftist politics, the magazine has published more than its fair share of questionable stories. In the early '70s, Rolling Stone published a sympathetic story about Charles Manson, embracing him as an orphan of the Left. In 2013, the magazine featured a glamorous photo of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looking like Mick Jagger after a night of champagne and groupies.