Just over a year ago, Rolling Stone owner Jann Wenner received more than his usual share of negative attention for hiring his own 22-year-old son to handle the operations at RollingStone.com in-between practice sessions for the rock band in which he plays with Scout Willis.
In an even more forceful sign of the changing of the guard, a late-Thursday-before-the-long-holiday-weekend news dump revealed the biggest executive shakeup at Wenner Media (which also publishes US Weekly, Men’s Journal and more) in nearly a decade. COO John Gruber, whom Wenner hired to replace his own personal adviser back in 2005, resigned in order to “join a non-profit.”
Here’s the overplayed GIF meme translation:
That’s not all, though.
This announcement came only days after publisher Chris McLoughlin left after less than one year on the job to pursue “a digital network gig”, which may be the vaguest possible job description for someone in media. And as for the “why” regarding Gruber’s departure:
“Gruber was ordered to fire Rolling Stone’s head of brand and content and marketing solutions over the phone while the exec was on vacation after newly promoted Wenner Media digital chief Gus Wenner was said to have told his father that he didn’t like him, the sources added.”
Yes, well, we can see how that might have been slightly annoying.
These moves are important because Rolling Stone is a well-established media brand that still manages to cram some good reporting in between coverage of Miley Cyrus and the latest Fleetwood Mac reunion and trying to decide whether it wants to win the 15-25 set or the 55-65 set (you can’t have both!). These changes certainly make us think that the owner has decided to hand the keys to the younger generation, so anyone seeking covering in RS (and other Wenner properties) may need to adjust accordingly.
In other Not Dead Yet news, Pink Floyd sort of announced the release of its first new album in twenty years…an album which will not include Roger Waters or any truly new material (its entirety stemming from sessions for the last album, 1994’s The Division Bell.)
We don’t need no new media entities, except when we do.