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Penske Media gains full control of Rolling Stone

PMC buys up BandLab 49% share to take complete control of iconic Rolling Stone brand, events and licensing

By Anna Grace on 01 Feb 2019

PMC buys Rolling Stone

Jay Penske

image © PMC

Jay Penske, chairman and chief executive of Penske Media Corporation (PMC), has purchased the remaining 49% of Rolling Stone, following a majority takeover in 2017.

The media and publishing entrepreneur now has complete ownership of the music brand, bringing to an end founder Jann Wenner’s 50 year ownership.

PMC bought up 51% of the magazine in December 2017, purchasing the rest from minority owner BandLab Technologies on 22 January. BandLab bought up the $40 million share in September 2016, overseeing an international subsidiary of the company focused on live events, merchandise and hospitality.

Panske’s media corporation owns other entertainment industry publications, including Variety, Deadline and Hollywood Life.

“The need to consolidate the Rolling Stone business has become abundantly clear”

Since 2017, PMC has taken the magazine monthly, redesigned the print edition and website and expanded the events component. The media corporation now has full control the famous brand, including its live event, licensing rights and international editions.

Penske informed staff of the news on Thursday, saying: “In the twelve months since PMC’s initial investment, the need to consolidate the Rolling Stone business has become abundantly clear and something that BandLab and their leadership team also recognised and were in full support of.”

PMC purchased the 49% Rolling Stone stake from Singaporean start-up BandLab Technologies,

Rolling Stone founder Wenner opened the doors to external investors in 2016 after many years of resistance, following a drop in advertisement revenues.


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