Rolling Stone, iconic music magazine, looks for buyer

Rolling Stone last year sold a 49 percent stake to a Singaporean music and technology start-up, BandLab Technologies. (Shutterstock)
Updated 18 September 2017
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Rolling Stone, iconic music magazine, looks for buyer

NEW YORK: Rolling Stone, the iconic 50-year-old magazine of music and counterculture, is putting itself up for sale amid an increasingly uncertain outlook, its founder said.
Jann Wenner — who started Rolling Stone in 1967 as a hippie student in Berkeley, California and now runs it with his son Gus — told The New York Times that the future looked tough for a family-run publisher.
“There’s a level of ambition that we can’t achieve alone,” Gus Wenner told the newspaper in an interview published late Sunday.
“So we are being proactive and want to get ahead of the curve,” he said.
One of the most influential magazines covering rock music, Rolling Stone has also been a home for experimental writers such as the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
But the magazine’s reputation — and finances — were badly damaged when it retracted a 2014 story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, with a review finding that Rolling Stone did not undertake basic journalistic procedures to verify the facts.
Rolling Stone last year sold a 49 percent stake to a Singaporean music and technology start-up, BandLab Technologies, which is headed by Kuok Meng Ru, the scion of one of Asia’s richest families.
It was not immediately known if Kuok would want to take a controling stake in Rolling Stone.
The Wenner family earlier this year sold its other two titles — celebrity magazine US Weekly and lifestyle monthly Men’s Journal — to American Media, Inc., a publisher of supermarket tabloids including The National Enquirer.
If American Media, Inc., were interested in Rolling Stone, it would mark a sharp change in owners’ ideologies.
The tabloid empire is led by David Pecker, an ardent ally of President Donald Trump, while Rolling Stone tilts strongly to the left and has featured lengthy interviews with Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Jann Wenner, 71, who is also a key force behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that he hoped to keep an editorial role at Rolling Stone but that the decision would be up to its new owner.


‘I spy with my little eye’: CIA launches Instagram account

Updated 26 April 2019
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‘I spy with my little eye’: CIA launches Instagram account

  • The spy agency has been openly recruiting from universities and industry

WASHINGTON: The Central Intelligence Agency opened its own account on Instagram Thursday with a picture of a desk of mysteries teased by the children’s game prompt “I spy with my little eye.”
The photo tempts with intrigues and adventure: a wig suggesting disguises, maps of China and the Gulf, foreign banknotes, a burn bag for getting rid of secret documents, a notebook with Arabic, and other items — mostly real operation souvenirs of CIA officers.
Next to a wall is a photo with the words: “I want to travel the world.”
The Instagram posting was an expansion of the premier US spy agency’s effort to recruit a younger generation of officers, agents and analysts, having already been on Twitter and Facebook for years.
The agency has been openly recruiting from universities and industry, and Instagram gives it a way to reach a large, younger demographic: most of its regular users are under 30.
“We’re looking to spark the curiosity of Instagram’s users about the many ways CIA’s global mission has us going where others cannot go and doing what others cannot do,” the agency said in a statement.
“Through the account, we’ll give a peek into agency life, but we can’t promise any selfies from secret locations.”