Speed Reads

Time Keeps on Slipping into the Future

Jann Wenner is putting Rolling Stone up for sale after 50 years

If you've ever wanted to own a music-oriented pop culture and politics magazine that helped shape the baby boom generation with long-form gonzo journalism from Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe, you're in luck: Jann Wenner is putting Rolling Stone on the auction block, The New York Times reports. Wenner and a mentor founded Rolling Stone in San Francisco in 1967, and Wenner has controlled the magazine ever since. His company, Wenner Media, sold off its other two big publications, US Weekly and Men's Journal, to American Media Inc. in recent years, and last year it sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to a Singapore music-tech company, BandLab Technologies, for $40 million.

Rolling Stone doesn't have the cultural cachet it used to, but its articles can still pack a punch, like the 2010 article that ended Gen. Stanley McChystal's career, the 2009 article by Matt Taibbi that immortalized the image of Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity," and — to the detriment of Rolling Stone — the retracted 2014 article about a gang-rape at the University of Virginia that cost the magazine dearly in legal settlements and reputation.

Wenner's son, Gus Wenner, 27, devised the sale plan, which is in its beginning stages. Both he and Jann Wenner, 71, plan to stay on at Rolling Stone if it is sold, though that would be up to the new owner. "I love my job, I enjoy it, I've enjoyed it for a long time," Jann Wenner told The New York Times, but letting it go is "just the smart thing to do." His decision to let go is "another clear sign that the days of celebrity editors are coming to a close," the Times says. "Earlier this month, Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair and a socialite and star in his own right, announced he planned to leave the magazine after 25 years. Robbie Myers, the longtime editor of Elle, Nancy Gibbs of Time magazine, and Cindi Leive of Glamour also said last week that they were stepping down." You can read more about the proposed sale at The New York Times.