Wenner Media is Now Debt Free And Looking to Spread Its Wings

GUS WENNER | Photo: @GusWenner
Many, if not all of Us Weekly's staff was angry at Wenner Media boss Jann Wenner when he sold the publication to tabloid publisher American Media Inc. They feared for their jobs and for the publication many of them have worked on for years. They feared the magazine would be diminished by the AMI celebrity gossip machine. Surely Jann Wenner wished he didn't have to sell but unfortunately the man had no choice. He was in a corner and his company was in the red.  So he had to sell off something. Before he sold Us Weekly for a reported $100 million, he sold 49% of the flagship Rolling Stone magazine for an undisclosed amount to some rich 28 year old kid from Singapore by the name of Meng Ru Kuok. So yeah Jann Wenner was desperate. With Us Weekly under a new owner, Wenner Media is about to be debt free thanks to the sale. The plan is to use some of the money to pay down almost $50 million in corporate debt. The company is also planning to expand the Rolling Stone brand with the money from the 49% stake sale and heir apparent Gus Wenner is leading the charge.

25 year old Gus who is rumored to be preparing to take the reins from his dad sometime this year has doubters who are foolishly attaching his age to whether or not he can run a media company. Then there are those who believe he's exactly what the company needs right now namely Rolling Stone which needs to attract younger readers. The magazine's new co-owner Meng Ru Kuok who runs BandLab Technologies shared his vision for the Rolling Stone brand. He said that the future of Rolling Stone isn't Rolling Stone magazine. He said "the next stage in Rolling Stone’s “lifecycle is…merchandise, hospitality and physical experiences". Gus Wenner had to convince his dad that digital was a critical part of the company's future. Now he's about to convince him to turn over the keys to the entire ship, if he hasn't already.


Wenner Media is Now Debt Free And Looking to Spread Its Wings Reviewed by Editor on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Rating: 5
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