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

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.


Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

Updated 03 June 2020

Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

  • “We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said
  • The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence

SAN FRANCISCO: Snapchat on Wednesday stopped promoting posts by US President Donald Trump, saying they incite “racial violence.”
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said in response to an AFP inquiry, referencing the youth-focused social network’s section for recommended content.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover.”
The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence, thrusting rival Facebook into turmoil for refusing to sanction false or inflammatory posts by the US president.
The decision was made over the weekend, during which Snapchat parent Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel sent a lengthy memo to employees condemning what he saw as a legacy of racial injustice and violence in the US.
“Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and wrongdoing we are acting in support of evildoers,” Spiegel wrote as companies responded to the outrage over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota.
“I am heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color in America.”
Snapchat will not promote accounts in the US that are linked to people who incite racial violence on or off the messaging platform, according Spiegel.
The Discover feature at Snapchat is a curated platform on which the California-based company get to decide what it recommends to users.
Trump’s account remains on the platform, it will just no longer be recommended viewing, according to Snapchat.
“We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way,” Spiegel said in the memo.
“We will make it clear with our actions that there is no grey area when it comes to racism, violence, and injustice — and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform.”
Snapchat is particularly popular with young Internet users, claiming that about half of the US “generation Z” population tapping into news through its Discover feature.