The Brag Media
News November 18, 2019

Iconic music masthead Rolling Stone Australia to reboot in 2020

Former Executive Editor
Iconic music masthead Rolling Stone Australia to reboot in 2020

Almost two years since its unfortunate exodus, Rolling Stone Australia is getting a reboot.

The iconic title’s parent company, Penske Media, has entered into a multi-year licensing agreement with upstart Australian music publisher, The Brag Media.

Rolling Stone Australia will launch in “early 2020”, according to its new publisher.

The new deal with The Brag Media excludes print, with plans to publish premium content across a wide range of platforms including digital, social and podcasts.

TMN understands that new agreement also covers video content, merchandising and the events – which means the Rolling Stone Australia Awards could be revived.

Ten of the brands owned or controlled by Penske Media

“This new partnership in Australia, where Rolling Stone has a rich history, allows us to give readers in this important market access to the brand’s unparalleled editorial content and world-class live events,” says Gus Wenner, Rolling Stone’s president and chief operating officer.

The international edition will also feature original and syndicated content deemed most relevant to Aussie audiences.

The masthead’s former publisher, Paper Riot Pty Ltd, went into external administration in January 2018, seeing the collapse of one of the country’s most coveted music media brands.

The Australian edition presumably faced similar problems which saw its US founder Jann Wenner offload the American version in December 2017 to Penske Media for an estimated US$50 million.

Upon Paper Riot’s demise, the Australian  license reverted back to its parent company.

The publications’ 48-year existence in Australia was the longest-lasting international version of the legendary brand. Among its editors were Ed St. John and John O’Donnell who went on to head BMG, Warner Music and EMI, respectively.

The Brag Media

The Brag Media’s chief executive, Luke Girgis 

The Brag Media, which launched in Australia in 2017, also publishes The Brag, Tone Deaf, Don’t Bore Us and The Industry Observer.

Its CEO Luke Girgis says Rolling Stone is “the most iconic music brand of all time”

“We are extremely privileged to have [Rolling Stone] join The Brag Media family,” says Girgis.

“The Brag Media will not only launch an Australian vertical on, but we will also be representing all the Rolling Stone Australian audiences across the international sites and social media accounts.”

Managing editor, Poppy Reid, and editor, Tyler Jenke, will oversee editorial. Reid is also on the lookout for seasoned local contributors to cover sports and politics.


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