Rolling Stone magazine
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
19 September 2017
Rolling Stone magazine seeking change with sale
Last week, my oldest son wrote a guest blog. His post, something special to his heart, highlights the music review site, Pitchfork. I appreciate his efforts as at the time I was en route overseas. Funny thing, his blog proved rather timely. How so? Turns out that after 50 years, Rolling Stone magazine is up for sale.
See, back in the day, you could see me donning an afro, deeming myself a flower child and collecting every vinyl LP I could get my hands on. I read the iconic rock mag fervently.
“Remember back in 2014, the magazine reported on a rape on the campus of the University of Virginia. Well, the rape was fake and, consequently, the magazine took a public beating over the feature.”
As a youthful reader, Rolling Stone magazine served as my pulse much like Pitchfork is now his. The magazine was my means of discerning the music I should be listing to, the films that were worthy of my time and content that defined my sense of self.
To me, and to many others, that’s how Rolling Stone readers define themselves.
What Rolling Stone magazine hopes to do now
So, why the heck is it up for sale? It’s an interesting question.
Right now, Rolling Stone magazine is booming. It reaches over 60 million people a month. And as Mashable reports, “Over the past three years, the brand’s digital traffic has grown nearly 50%, its social media presence has grown over 100% and its monthly video views are up more than 700%.”
But all that doesn’t necessarily mean its brand development is where it needs to be. Remember back in 2014, the magazine reported on a rape on the campus of the University of Virginia. Well, the rape was fake and, consequently, the magazine took a public beating over the feature.
As such, Gus Wenner, son of the magazines’s founder, says the company is seeking to “explore strategic options… to best position the brand for future growth.”
With incidents like the faux rape story, I appreciate Wenner’s candidness. Let’s just hope a mega corporation with interests in entertainment (like Time Warner) doesn’t swoop in to buy Rolling Stone magazine. I’m not sure brand loyalists like me could stomach something like that.
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