In 1967 Jann S. Wenner started a magazine from a loft in San Fransisco at 21 years of age. Gracing the cover Rolling Stone quickly became a coveted and inspired Dr. Hook’s classic ‘Cover Of The Rolling Stone’. Mr. Wenner long strived to be an independant publisher but acknowledged last week the magazine is facing an ‘uncertain future’ on its own. This is an about face for a man who has held the controlling stake of the company for over fifty years but at 71 years of age he added that it was “just the smart thing to do”
A botched story three years ago about a gang rape at the University of Virginia took the magazine’s credibility down a few notches and you can’t ignore the struggles that all magazines are facing, surely these things have played into the decision. Wenner’s son Gus hopes to stay on as Chief Operating Officer of the company but also admits the decision will be up to new ownership. While the days of maverick writers like Hunter S Thompson faded out a long time ago into Rolling Stone lore, the magazine continued to stand out over the years with photography from the likes of Anie Leibovitz, war coverage (remember a ‘Runaway General’ story on Stanley McChrystal which effectively ended his military career) or political commentary and interviews, recently even suggesting ‘Why can’t he be our President’ after featuring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Wenner’s second floor office is surrounded by a huge collection of rock n’ roll artifacts and for somebody who’s spent their entire life engulfed in music and culture it can’t be easy for Wenner to let for of control but in his own words “I think it’s time for young people to run it”
Cover Photo Credit: Duane Prokop / Stringer/ Getty