Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone February 1 2012 cover.jpg
CeeLo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton, on the cover of the February 1, 2012 issue.
CategoriesPopular culture
PublisherJann Wenner
Total circulation
(December 2018)
700,622[1]
FounderJann Wenner
Ralph J. Gleason
First issueNovember 9, 1967; 51 years ago (1967-11-09)
Companyrollingstone.com
0035-791X

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music.[2] In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

Rolling Stone Press is the magazine's associated book publishing imprint. Straight Arrow Press was the magazine's associated book publishing imprint, Straight Arrow Publishing Co., Inc. was the publishing company that published Rolling Stone.[3][4]

History

Founding and early history

Rolling Stone magazine was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and Ralph Gleason.[5] To get it off the ground, Wenner borrowed $7,500 from his own family and from the parents of his soon-to-be wife, Jane Schindelheim.[6] The first issue carried a cover date of November 9, 1967,[7] and was in newspaper format with a lead article on the Monterey Pop Festival.[8] The cover price was 25¢ (equivalent to $1.88 in 2016).

In the first issue,[9] Wenner explained that the title of the magazine referred to the 1950 blues song "Rollin' Stone", recorded by Muddy Waters, and Bob Dylan's hit single "Like a Rolling Stone":

You're probably wondering what we're trying to do. It's hard to say: sort of a magazine and sort of a newspaper. The name of it is Rolling Stone which comes from an old saying, "A rolling stone gathers no moss."

Muddy Waters used the name for a song he wrote. The Rolling Stones took their name from Muddy's song. "Like a Rolling Stone" was the title of Bob Dylan's first rock and roll record. We have begun a new publication reflecting what we see are the changes in rock and roll and the changes related to rock and roll."—Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone, November 9, 1967, p. 2[10]

Some authors have attributed the name solely to Dylan's hit single: "At [Ralph] Gleason's suggestion, Wenner named his magazine after a Bob Dylan song."[11] Rolling Stone initially identified with and reported the hippie counterculture of the era. However, it distanced itself from the underground newspapers of the time, such as Berkeley Barb, embracing more traditional journalistic standards and avoiding the radical politics of the underground press. In the very first edition, Wenner wrote that Rolling Stone "is not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces".

In the 1970s, Rolling Stone began to make a mark with its political coverage, with the likes of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson writing for the magazine's political section. Thompson first published his most famous work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas within the pages of Rolling Stone, where he remained a contributing editor until his death in 2005.[12] In the 1970s, the magazine also helped launch the careers of many prominent authors, including Cameron Crowe, Lester Bangs, Joe Klein, Joe Eszterhas, Ben Fong-Torres, Patti Smith and P. J. O'Rourke. It was at this point that the magazine ran some of its most famous stories, including that of the Patty Hearst abduction odyssey. One interviewer, speaking for a large number of his peers, said that he bought his first copy of the magazine upon initial arrival on his college campus, describing it as a "rite of passage".[2]

In 1977, the magazine moved its headquarters from San Francisco to New York City. Editor Jann Wenner said San Francisco had become "a cultural backwater".[13]

During the 1980s, the magazine began to shift towards being a general "entertainment" magazine. Music was still a dominant topic, but there was increasing coverage of celebrities in television, films and the pop culture of the day. The magazine also initiated its annual "Hot Issue" during this time.

Rolling Stone was initially known for its musical coverage and for Thompson's political reporting. In the 1990s, the magazine changed its format to appeal to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors and popular music. This led to criticism that the magazine was emphasizing style over substance.[2] In recent years, the magazine has resumed its traditional mix of content, including in-depth political stories. It has also expanded content to include coverage of financial and banking issues. As a result, the magazine has seen its circulation increase and its reporters invited as experts to network television programs of note.[14]

The printed format has gone through several changes. The first publications, in 1967–72, were in folded tabloid newspaper format, with no staples, black ink text, and a single color highlight that changed each edition. From 1973 onwards, editions were produced on a four-color press with a different newsprint paper size. In 1979, the bar code appeared. In 1980, it became a gloss-paper, large format (10"×12") magazine. As of edition of October 30, 2008, Rolling Stone has had a smaller, standard-format magazine size.[15]

2000s

After years of declining readership, the magazine experienced a major resurgence of interest and relevance with the work of two young journalists in the late 2000s, Michael Hastings and Matt Taibbi.[citation needed]

In 2005, Dana Leslie Fields, former publisher of Rolling Stone, who had worked at the magazine for 17 years, was an inaugural inductee into the Magazine Hall of Fame.[16]

In 2009, Taibbi unleashed an acclaimed series of scathing reports on the financial meltdown of the time. He famously described Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid".

2010s

Bigger headlines came at the end of June 2010. Rolling Stone caused a controversy in the White House by publishing in the July issue an article by journalist Michael Hastings entitled, "The Runaway General",[17] quoting criticism by General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan commander, about Vice President Joe Biden and other Administration members of the White House. McChrystal resigned from his position shortly after his statements went public.[18][19][20][21]

In 2010, Taibbi documented illegal and fraudulent actions by banks in the foreclosure courts, after traveling to Jacksonville, Florida and sitting in on hearings in the courtroom. His article, Invasion of the Home Snatchers also documented attempts by the judge to intimidate a homeowner fighting foreclosure and the attorney Taibbi accompanied into the court.[22][23]

In January 2012, the magazine ran exclusive excerpts from Hastings' book just prior to publication.[24] The book, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, provided a much more expansive look at McChrystal and the culture of senior American military and how they become embroiled in such wars. The book reached Amazon's bestseller list in the first 48 hours of release, and it received generally favorable reviews. Salon's Glenn Greenwald described it as "superb," "brave" and "eye-opening".[25]

In 2012, Taibbi, through his coverage of the Libor scandal,[26] emerged as an expert on that topic, which led to media appearances outside Rolling Stone.[27][28]

On November 9, 2012, the magazine published its first Spanish-language section on Latino music and culture, in the issue dated November 22.[29][30]

In September 2016, Advertising Age reported that Wenner is in the process of selling a 49% stake of the magazine to a company from Singapore called BandLab. The new investor will have no direct involvement in the editorial content of the magazine.[31]

In September 2017, Wenner Media announced that the remaining 51% of Rolling Stone magazine is up for sale.[32] In December 2017, Penske Media acquired the remaining stake from Wenner Media.[33] On January 31, 2019, Penske acquired BandLab's 49% stake in Rolling Stone, gaining full ownership of the magazine.[34]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Rolling Stone
العربية: رولينغ ستون
asturianu: Rolling Stone
azərbaycanca: Rolling Stone
беларуская: Rolling Stone
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Rolling Stone
български: Ролинг Стоун
català: Rolling Stone
čeština: Rolling Stone
Deutsch: Rolling Stone
Ελληνικά: Rolling Stone
español: Rolling Stone
Esperanto: Rolling Stone
euskara: Rolling Stone
français: Rolling Stone
Gaeilge: Rolling Stone
Gàidhlig: Rolling Stone
한국어: 롤링 스톤
հայերեն: Rolling Stone
hrvatski: Rolling Stone
Bahasa Indonesia: Rolling Stone
íslenska: Rolling Stone
italiano: Rolling Stone
Kiswahili: Rolling Stone
latviešu: Rolling Stone
lietuvių: Rolling Stone
македонски: Ролинг Стоун
მარგალური: Rolling Stone
Bahasa Melayu: Rolling Stone
Nederlands: Rolling Stone
norsk nynorsk: Rolling Stone
português: Rolling Stone
română: Rolling Stone
русский: Rolling Stone
Simple English: Rolling Stone
slovenčina: Rolling Stone
slovenščina: Rolling Stone
српски / srpski: Ролинг стоун
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Rolling Stone
svenska: Rolling Stone
Türkçe: Rolling Stone
українська: Rolling Stone
Tiếng Việt: Rolling Stone