Founder, Rolling Stone
In 1967, a 20-year-old Jann S. Wenner dropped out of the University of California to start a quirky rock-music-oriented biweekly called Rolling Stone -- and changed American culture. Treating the interests of America's increasingly vocal youth with a seriousness unknown before, Rolling Stone spoke to--and for--an entire generation. Throughout its illustrious history, Wenner's commitment to quality journalism has kept Rolling Stone fresh and dynamic -- the magazine's success has proved a new readership is always ready to respond to definitive music coverage, provocative interviews, award-winning photography and important investigative and political reporting. Today, Rolling Stone continues to reign at the forefront of American journalism and with 11 million readers, serves as the ultimate source for music information and popular culture trends.
Some of Rolling Stone's most distinguished literary accomplishments reflect Wenner's hands-on approach to publishing. Wenner edited Hunter S. Thompson's masterpiece of gonzo journalism, "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail," as well as Tom Wolfe's articles on the early days of the U.S. space program, which evolved into the acclaimed book The Right Stuff. He also supervised the editing of Wolfe's scabrous novel, Bonfire of the Vanities as it appeared in its early, serialized version in Rolling Stone. Wenner’s ability to seek out extraordinary literary talents has brought other acclaimed writers to the magazine, including P.J. O’Rourke, Timothy Crouse, Cameron Crowe, Howard Kohn, Tim Cahill, Joe Eszterhas, Greil Marcus, Charles M. Young, Mikal Gilmore, Chris Heath, Kurt Loder and Anthony DeCurtis.
Wenner's publishing success lies in his intuitive understanding of the changing lifestyles of his readers. In 1977, he founded Outside, America’s first contemporary outdoor magazine. Wenner sold the magazine two years later to another publisher.
In 1985, in partnership with Lorimar Telepictures, Wenner purchased US magazine from the McFadden Publishing. In 1989, he assumed total ownership of the title and repositioned it as US The Entertainment Magazine. Wenner successfully reinvented the title into a cutting-edge entertainment source and the dominant voice of young Hollywood. The magazine features intimate celebrity interviews with award-winning journalists and lush portfolios by esteemed photographers. In March of 2000, US made the transition from a monthly to a weekly, and now has 5 million readers.
In April 1992, Wenner launched Men's Journal, targeting active men interested in participatory sports, travel and adventure. The magazine has posted explosive circulation growth with a 288 percent surge in total paid circulation. In 1995, Men’s Journal was awarded the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Men’s Journal’s popularity is growing rapidly and currently has 2.6 million readers.
In August 1993, Wenner premiered Family Life, a magazine for parents who want to be actively involved in creating happy and fulfilling lives for their young children. In March 1995, Wenner sold Family Life to another publisher, but continues to participate in the title's success. Wenner’s extraordinary success in the publishing world has been acknowledged through numerous awards. In April 1997, Wenner became the youngest inductee to the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Hall of Fame. In 1994, Wenner was named Publishing Executive of the Year by Adweek, a leading industry trade publication.
In addition to his publishing work, Wenner devotes himself to several important causes. He is vice chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., a 12-year-old nonprofit organization which honors artists and music industry-professionals who have made significant contributions to rock & roll. In September of 1995, Wenner presided over the opening of the stunning, $100 million Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei. The ultimate shrine to rock & roll, the museum had over one million visitors in its first year. Wenner continues to co-host the annual induction dinner each year, one of the most noteworthy events in the music industry.
Mr. Wenner is the father of three children. He resides in New York City.