'Rolling Stone' bought by Penske Media (who own 'Variety,' 'Deadline' & more)

PMC chief Jay Penske has closed a major deal to acquire a controlling interest in Wenner Media, the parent company of the venerable rock music bible Rolling Stone.

PMC, owner of trade titles like Variety and WWD, in addition to IndieWire, will invest in Rolling Stone's digital content, which now makes up a small fraction of the company's revenue.

As previously reported, Wenner Media, facing the same challenges as most traditional magazine owners in the digital age, past year sold a 49% stake in the title to Singapore-based company BandLab Technologies.

The deal values Rolling Stone at more than $110-million, the Financial Times reported earlier, citing people briefed on the transaction. http://on.ft.com/2BrvPxd Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner will assume the role of Editorial Director of the magazine after the completion of the deal, according to the statement.

Under the deal, New York-based Wenner Media will maintain editorial oversight of Rolling Stone, which will remain an independent authority on USA pop culture and political coverage, the companies said in a statement.

"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", Gus Wenner told Variety.

Penske Media Corp. said it has made a strategic investment in Wenner Media, the owner of Rolling Stone, the iconic pop culture and music magazine founded a half-century ago.

Rolling Stone will remain headquartered in NY.

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).

Writers who found a home at Rolling Stone included P.J.

Wenner rocketed into the celebrity world that had long enchanted him. Penske Media was represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. In Sticky Fingers, Hagan writes that Wenner Media was at one point valued at around $1 billion dollars by Wenner's accountants and was being courted for an acquisition by Hearst at that valuation. "This will allow us to do that in a way we haven't been able to over the last couple of years".



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