Jann Wenner Has No Contingency Plan

Jann Wenner
Huh. He usually looks more dreamy. Photo: WireImage

As Rolling Stone celebrates its 40th anniversary (and celebrates, and celebrates), Business Week's Jon Fine discovers that 62-year-old founder Jann Wenner has no plans for succession. "I haven't thought about it all," Wenner told Fine. Selling the company is "not inconceivable," he says. But "it's not on the table now." In his column, what Fine finds inconceivable is the Rolling Stone's own staying power. It "astounds" the media critic that a magazine with no emphasis on the Web and a baby-boomer focus manages to have such a cache with advertisers. But as Wenner ages, who will his mini-empire of RS, Men's Journal, and Us Weekly pass to? A sale would sock Wenner and his estranged wife, Jane, with massive capital-gains taxes, Fine argues, so they're unlikely to want to sell. In other words, what we expected all along will probably come to pass. Wenner will never let go of Rolling Stone until he is 90 years old and the magazine has to run shots of Bruce Springsteen's grave to keep up its annual Boss cover quota.

The Last Tycoon of Print [Business Week]
Related: The Odd Couple [NYM]