Penske Media will buy Jann Wenner's Rolling Stone magazine stake but Wenner is remaining on the board as the editorial director of the magazine. Despite selling the company, Wenner Media will maintain editorial oversight over the operations of Rolling Stone, which is good news for U2 and most classic rock artists.
Founded by Jay Penske in 2003, his company has amassed major titles in entertainment and culture including Variety, one of the most influential outlets in Hollywood, the lighter film site Deadline.com and the fashion business trend-settler Women's Wear Daily.
Rolling Stone was founded in 1967 with a $7,500 loan from family members of the founders, Jann Wenner and Ralph Gleason. Today, digital is a tiny fraction of Rolling Stone's revenue, though Gus Wenner says he has a plan to fix that.
But even as Rolling Stone's reviews remain among the most closely watched in the music industry, the publication has struggled in an era when independent magazines find it hard to stay afloat. The stretch for him will be running an iconic brand: While Penske owns some consumer-facing properties, like Robb Report and BGR, this is by far the best-known title he will have owned.
As part of the agreement, Singapore-based music start-up BandLab Technologies, which now has a 49 per cent stake in Rolling Stone will continue as Wenner Media's partner in the magazine, the companies added. Its coverage on the polarizing rise of President Donald Trump has been in keeping with the spirited origins, when the magazine became famous for the journalistic exploits of writers including Hunter S. Thompson and Cameron Crowe.
"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", he added.
Mr Penske said he hoped to ensure that Rolling Stone "continues to ascend for decades across multiple media platforms".
Jann Wenner called the partnership "an ideal match", while Gus Wenner said, "We are thrilled for this opportunity to grow our business together".