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How Jann Wenner Chronicled the Changing Musical Landscape Across the Globe

Jann Wenner has earned not just from Rolling Stone but also magazines like, Men's Journal and Outside
UPDATED FEB 19, 2024
Getty Images | Cindy Ord
Getty Images | Cindy Ord
Name Jann Wenner
Net Worth $600 Million
Sources of Income Production, publishing
Gender Male
Date of Birth Jan 7, 1946 
Age 77 years
Nationality American
Profession Producer, publisher, actor

American publisher and entrepreneur best known as the co-founder and the publisher of "Rolling Stone" magazine, Jann Wenner has amassed a massive $600 million net worth. Other than that, he is also credited with co-founding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and being a part of the Free Speech Movement. 

Jann Wenner Getty Images | Theo Wargo
Jann Wenner Getty Images | Theo Wargo

But before chronicling the world of rock and roll with "Rolling Stone" he published a magazine called "Outside" in 1977 and then purchased the "US Weekly," in 1986. In the year 1987, he entered production with the television series, "I'm from Rolling Stone" and earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for producing the 2009 TV special "The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert."

Although "Rolling Stone" remains Wenner's most renowned revenue-generating venture, he also has magazines such as "Men's Journal" under his belt. He has also extended his prowess to the world of film and television production, with cameos and acting gigs in movies and TV shows.

Wenner bought a 6,300-square-foot home in Montauk, New York in year 2009 for a whopping $11.9 million. In addition to that, he owns 4 more properties including a 9,000-square-foot Manhattan brownstone, 6,000 square-foot Manhattan townhome, a ski condo, and a ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho. 


Jann Wenner was born on January 7, 1947, in New York City and started living in a boarding school after his parents got divorced. As a student, he wrote a column called "Something's Happening", which helped him get a job at "Ramparts" magazine. He co-founded "Rolling Stone" magazine after borrowing  $7,500 from his family. He became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and was later named chairman before leaving the position in 2020. He played a key role in popularising writers like Grover Lewis, Timothy Crouse, Timothy Ferris, Joe Klein, Cameron Crowe, and more. Until 1977, the company was operating from San Francisco but later moved to New York City following which the magazine's circulation plummeted a bit. 

Wenner was personally known for being involved in many interviews and some of his most famous interviews included that of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Al Gore.

He bought the "US Weekly" in the year 1986 with The Walt Disney Company and in 2006 he purchased Disney's share of the magazine as well. In the year 2016, it was reported that Jann was Selling a 49% stake in Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies.

He is also the founder of Outside, a magazine which he founded back in 1977 along with William Randolph Hearst III and Jack Ford. In 2016, the parent company of Rolling Stone, Wenner Media's 49% stake was up for sale and was later sold to  Singaporean company BandLab Technologies.

Later in 2017. the remaining 51% was bought by Penske Media Corporation who also acquired the previous 49% from BandLab. 

He married Jane E. Schindelheim in 1968 and they share sons Alexander, Theodore, and Edward. The then couple separated in 1995 and their divorce was finalized in 2011. In the year 1995, Jann started seeing fashion designer Matt Nye. The couple has three children, a son Noah, and twins, India and Jude via surrogacy. 

Wenner received backlash when he pulled the $75,000 that he promised to provide in the 1976 presidential campaign Hunter S. Thompson at the last moment. He again made headlines for firing rock critic Jim DeRogatis in 1996 after DeRogatis gave a bad review for the band Hootie and the Blowfish. He again came under scrutiny when he said that 'none of them (female artists) were as articulate enough on this intellectual level."


Controversy struck when Wenner was removed from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation's board over derogatory remarks about female musicians and artists of color. He later apologized for his comments saying that they "diminished the contributions of black and women artists," as per the Washington Post.

Jan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the year 2004 and received the Lifetime Achievement in the nonperforming category. In the year 2010, Wenner bagged the Normal Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Magazine Publishing. This was the same year when he also earned a nomination for Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special for "The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert."

Was Jann Wenner Removed from the Rock Hall of Fame Foundation?

He was removed from the board following derogatory remarks about artists.

How did Rolling Stone magazine get its name?

Rolling Stone magazine was named after an old saying: ‘A Rolling Stone gathers no moss'.

Was Jann Wenner Removed From The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation’s Board Of Directors?

Yes, he was removed from the board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, which he also helped found.

Is Jann Wenner Still Actively Involved In The Media Industry?

After stepping away from the publication, he has written two books.

How Has Wenner Adapted To The Digital Age In The Media Industry?

He has adapted to the digital age with the help of multimedia tools.

Does Jann Wenner have children?

He has 6 children. Gus Wenner, Alexander Jann Wenner, Theodore Simon Wenner, India Rose Wenner, Jude Wenner, Noah Wenner.