Rolling Stone staffers got what they wanted in new owner Jay Penske, or at least so far. Penske acquired a majority stake in Rolling Stone’s parent company Wenner Media and the only thing that seems to be changing is Jann Wenner’s stake in the company. Staffers feared that a new owner would come in and kill the print edition and chop the staff down to nearly nothing. But so far Penske Media’s plans for the iconic music magazine is to keep the print edition alive and continue to drive digital as well. On the print side, the company will be figuring out frequency in the new year. In addition to that, Mr. Penske said they will be hiring more editorial staff in the new year. All good news for Rolling Stone’s staff, but there is still the issue of the magazine losing money and its aging audience. How will Rolling Stone compete with the newer more hip music culture brands currently commanding the attention of the very demo Rolling Stone needs to stay relevant? Like many other magazines Rolling Stone was very slow to embrace the web creating an opening for new digital first brands to come in and chip away at its audience and relevance. Jann Wenner took action by bringing in his son Gus to lead the digital charge, but so far that effort hasn’t really shifted the needle for the publication.
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