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July 8, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:26am

Attitude publisher to launch UK edition of Rolling Stone magazine

By Charlotte Tobitt

Rolling Stone is getting a dedicated UK edition more than 50 years after the first attempt sponsored by Mick Jagger dissolved in just a few months.

Stream Publishing, which publishes LGBTQ magazine Attitude, has signed an exclusive licensing deal with Rolling Stone owner Penske Media Corporation to launch the brand in print and online in the UK.

The launches will go live this autumn and create seven jobs with a deputy editor, a web editor and an online writer initially being sought in editorial.

The New York-based magazine is monthly but the frequency of the UK print title has not yet been confirmed.

Stream, a content creation and live events agency, will then begin to launch live events under the Rolling Stone brand in spring 2022.

Darren Styles OBE, managing director of Stream, said: “The arrival of Rolling Stone in the UK is not only a hugely exciting development for our brilliant team, but also fantastic news for the UK music and entertainment industries which deserve the showcase and platform that this iconic brand will deliver.

“A Rolling Stone cover is the picture worth 10,000 words, and UK artists will now have opportunities of their own to achieve just that, as well access to the RS network that stretches well beyond its native USA to Australia, China and more than a dozen other countries.”

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“We are excited to have the opportunity to search out UK talent to commentate on one of the most fascinating political ages this country has seen and have the opportunity to bring to light the kind of long-reads and investigative work made famous by the like of Hunter S Thompson, P J O’Rourke and Tom Wolfe.

“Rolling Stone UK, here as there, will share the stories that need to be told, shine light into dark corners and yet celebrate, too, that which entertains us. There is no title better suited to these times.”

Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph Gleason launched Rolling Stone in the US in 1967. After rock group The Rolling Stones threatened to sue over the name, a UK edition sponsored by its lead singer Jagger acted as a peacemaking agreement. But it did not match the quality of the US brand and lasted just months.

Asked why it didn’t work, Wenner told the Observer in 2017: “Well, I was in San Francisco, so it was up to Mick to oversee it and he went to Australia to make a movie, Ned Kelly. So it was left in the hands of amateurs and hippies and they didn’t know what they were doing and it was terrible! Not a very good magazine.”

Rolling Stone now has a global reach of about 60m people each month, according to Penske.

Rolling Stone president and chief operating officer Gus Wenner, Jann’s son, said he “couldn’t be more thrilled” about the launch.

“The opportunity to bring our content to a country we have a longstanding history with and admiration for feels right.

“The UK is the birthplace of some of the most iconic musicians, many of whom have played a significant role in shaping our legacy. Today is the beginning of another exciting chapter in our evolution.”

Styles launched Stream Publishing in 2008 to produce print and digital content for, or in partnership with, third-party clients in the travel, entertainment, automotive and retail sectors.

It bought the now-27-year-old Attitude magazine in 2016 and Styles, who previously launched the Attitude Awards for the brand in 2012, said it would benefit from “the support of a larger publisher with greater resources, but – given our entrepreneurial nature – continue to enjoy the freedom and independence a title with maverick tendencies sometimes needs”.

Stream claims Attitude is the best-selling gay title in the UK and Europe and the biggest LGBTQ brand in the world.

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