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Why ‘Rolling Stone’ is shrinking
Is the 41-year-old music magazine trying to survive, or selling out?
 

“Why does Rolling Stone all of a sudden want to ‘fit in’ with other magazines” by changing its size to the standard 8 ½ by 11 inches? said the blog Jossip. From its inception, founder Jann Wenner “billed the mag as a revolutionary trailblazer—that it was bigger, albeit flimsier, than its rival music mags”—and “its larger size made that statement from a distance.” Now it seems to be moving “towards a hipper, more accessible audience.” It’s too bad.

“You can’t blame the people at Rolling Stone” for changing with the times, said the blog DJ Ocean’s World. This is a “shrewd move that will cut costs and make the magazine easier to stock for newsstands.” Rolling Stone is doing what it needs to do to survive in an industry that’s “been getting crushed in the last two years” by decreased advertising sales.

Who cares either way? said Scott Kirwin in The Razor blog. “Rolling Stone’s best years ended in 1976 as its demographic shifted into building careers and families” and “away from creating socialist utopias fueled by pot smoke and Hendrix.” The magazine’s “time has passed,” just like that of “the aging hippies who read it generations ago.”

That couldn’t be farther from the truth, said the blog Radio Jingles. The magazine may be “shrinking its size,” but it’s still “one of the most widely read and influential music magazines in the world.” Rolling Stone still has plenty of life left in it.

 

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