Jann Wenner

Jann Wenner

Jann Simon Wenner (born January 7, 1946, in New York City) is the co-founder and publisher of the music and politics biweekly "Rolling Stone", as well as the owner of "Men's Journal" and "Us Weekly" magazines.


Wenner grew up in a secularized Jewish family. His parents divorced in 1958, and he and his sisters, Kate and Merlyn, were sent to boarding schools to live. He graduated from high school at Chadwick School in 1963 and went on to attend the University of California at Berkeley. Before dropping out of Berkeley in 1966, Wenner was active in the Free Speech Movement and produced the column "Something's Happening" in the student-run newspaper, "The Daily Californian". [ cite news| title= News | url= http://www.dailycal.org/printable.php?id=25647| publisher=The Daily Californian | date=2007-08-20 | accessdate=2007-10-22] With the help of his mentor, "San Francisco Chronicle" jazz critic Ralph J. Gleason, Wenner landed a job at "Ramparts", a high-circulation muckraker, where Gleason was a contributing editor and Wenner worked on the magazine's spinoff newspaper.

Media Industry

In 1967, Wenner and Gleason founded "Rolling Stone" in San Francisco. To get the magazine off the ground, Wenner borrowed $7500 from family members and from the family of his soon-to-be wife, Jane Schindelheim. [ [http://www.salon.com/people/bc/1999/04/20/wenner/ Salon.com People | Wenner's world ] ] In the summer following the start of the magazine, Wenner and Schindelheim were married in a small Jewish ceremony. [. cite book | last=Draper |first= Robert |title= |publisher= Doubleday |year= 1990 |isbn=0-385-26060-1]

With an eye for recognizing talent, Wenner backed the careers of writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, Joe Klein, Cameron Crowe, and Joe Eszterhas. Wenner also discovered photographer Annie Leibovitz when she was a 21-year-old San Francisco Art Institute student. Many of Wenner's proteges, such as writer/director Cameron Crowe, credit him with giving them their biggest break. Tom Wolfe recognized Wenner's influence in ensuring that his first novel, "The Bonfire of the Vanities", was completed, stating "I was absolutely frozen with fright about getting it done and I decided to serialize it and the only editor crazy enough to do that was Jann." [ cite news | last= O'Brien |first= Timothy |title= News| url= http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/business/yourmoney/25wenner.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Read Me |publisher= The New York Times |date= 2005-12-25| accessdate=2007-10-31 ]

In 1977, "Rolling Stone" shifted its base of operations from San Francisco to New York City. [ cite news | last= Carlson | first=Peter |title= News| url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050302531.html |Publisher= The Washington Post | date= 2006-05-06| accessdate=2007-12-13 ] The magazine's circulation dipped briefly in the late 1970s/early 1980s as Wenner's crew responded slowly in covering the emergence of punk rock and again in the 1990s, when it lost ground to "Spin" and "Blender" in coverage of hip hop. Wenner hired former "FHM" editor Ed Needham, who was then replaced by Will Dana, to turn his flagship magazine around, and by 2006, "Rolling Stone"'s circulation was at an all-time high of 1.5 million copies sold every fortnight. In May 2006, "Rolling Stone" published its 1000th edition with a holographic, 3-D cover modeled on The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album cover. [cite news | first=Peter | last=Carlson | coauthors= | title=How Does it Feel? | date=May 4, 2006 | publisher= | url =http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050302531.html | work =The Washington Post | pages = | accessdate = 2007-11-05 | language = ]

Wenner has also had a hand in conducting and writing of many of the magazine's famous Rolling Stone Interviews. Some of his more recent interview subjects have included: Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama for the magazine during their election campaigns and in November 2005 had a major interview with U2 rockstar Bono, which focused on music and politics. [ cite news |first=Jann = Last= Wenner |authorlink= Jann Wenner | title= Bono: The Rolling Stone Interview |http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/8091949/bono | date= 2005-11-03| accessdate=2007-10-31] Wenner's interview with Bono received a National Magazine Award nomination.

"Rolling Stone" and Jann Wenner are chronicled in two books, "Gone Crazy and Back Again" as well as "Rolling Stone: The Uncensored History". Former "Rolling Stone" journalist David Weir is working on a biography,cite web |url=http://communication.stanford.edu/faculty/weir.html |title=Faculty: David Weir |accessdate=2007-05-07] as is poet and Beat historian Lewis MacAdams. [ cite web | url=http://www.lfla.org/aloud/july05/l_macadams.htm |title= Los Angeles Library Foundation |accessdate= 2007-10-31]

Wenner founded the magazine "Outside" in 1977; William Randolph Hearst III and Jack Ford both worked for the magazine. He also briefly managed the magazine "Look" and in 1993, started the magazine "Family Life". In 1985, he bought a share in "Us Weekly", followed by a joint purchase of the magazine with The Walt Disney Company the following year. The magazine went weekly in 2000; after a rocky start, it now reaches over 11 million readers a week. [ cite web | url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jann-wenner |title= The Huffington Post |accessdate= 2007-10-31] In August 2006, Wenner bought out Disney's share and now owns 100% of the magazine. [ cite web | url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/10/business/media/10mag.htm |title= Disney to sell its half stake in Us Weekly back to Wenner |accessdate= 2007-11-05]

Personal life

Wenner and his wife separated in 1995, though Jane Wenner still remains a vice president of Wenner Media. She and Wenner have three sons, Alexander Jann, Theodore Simon, and Edward Augustus.

Since 1995, Wenner's partner has been Matt Nye, a fashion designer. Together, Wenner and Nye have adopted three children. [ [http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2008/01/28/2008-01-28_side_dish_brangelina_expecting.html Side Dish: Brangelina expecting? ] ]


Working with a small group of distinguished record company heads and music industry professionals, Wenner co-founded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in 1983.

He also produced Boz Scaggs's self titled major label debut album in 1969.

In 1985, he appeared in the movie "Perfect" with Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta. He also had cameo roles in Cameron Crowe's films "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous".

The American Society of Magazine Editors inducted Wenner into their Hall of Fame in 1997, making him the youngest editor ever inducted. cite web | url=http://www.rockhall.com/inductee/jann-s-wenner |title= Inductee Biography |accessdate= 2007-11-05]

In 2004, Wenner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Lifetime Achievement category.

Wenner also made a guest "appearance" in the Marvel Comic "Daredevil" issue 100 in 1973, in which he interviews the Superhero, who is thereby motivated to remember his origins (which he shares with the readers of the comic, but not with Wenner.)

In June 2007, Monkees bassist Peter Tork alleged to the New York Post that Wenner is excluding the group from the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and Museum. Tork claims that Wenner who co-founded and is a vice-chairman of the Cleveland-based museum, "doesn't care what the rules are and just operates how he sees fit. It is an abuse of power. I don't know whether The Monkees belong in the Hall of Fame, but it's pretty clear that we're not in there because of a personal whim." Tork believes Wenner doesn't like the fact that The Monkees, who were originally cast as actors for a TV sitcom, didn't play their own instruments on their first two records. "Jann seems to have taken it harder than everyone else, and now, 40 years later, everybody says, 'What's the big deal? Everybody else does it.' Nobody cares now except him. He feels his moral judgment in 1967 and 1968 is supposed to serve in 2007."Fact|date=June 2008

Wenner has endured a bit of controversy during his career, as it relates to his involvement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans and supporters of several artists, which include Rush, Kiss, Chicago, The Monkees, The Doobie Brothers and Neil Diamond have placed a large amount of blame on Wenner for keeping them out of the Hall of FameFact|date=August 2008. They claim Wenner has lobbied to keep them from consideration and nomination to the Hall based on personal bias and a dislike for their musicFact|date=August 2008.

In the fall of 2007, Wenner published an oral biography of Hunter S. Thompson titled "Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson." Co-written with Corey Seymour, this work traces the life of Thompson as told though the stories of those closest to him. [cite book | last = Wenner | first = Jann | authorlink = Jann Wenner | coauthors = Corey Seymour | title = Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson | publisher = Little, Brown | date = 2007-10-31 | location = New York, NY | pages = | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 0-316-00527-4 ]

Bibliography of Important Works

* Bob Dylan, May 3, 2007 (40th Anniversary Issue) [cite journal |title=Interview with Bob Dylan for RS 40th Anniversary Issue |journal=Rolling Stone |date=2007-05-03 |first=Jann |last=Wenner |volume=1025/1026 |accessdate=2007-11-14 ]

* Bono, November 3, 2005 [cite news |first=Jann |last=Wenner |title=Bono |date=2005-11-03 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/bonovox |work=Rolling Stone |accessdate=2007-11-06 ]

* John Kerry, November 11, 2004 [cite news |first=Jann |last=Wenner |title=John Kerry |date=2004-11-11 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6562106/john_kerry |work=Rolling Stone |accessdate=2007-11-06 ]

* Al Gore, November 9, 2000 [cite journal |title=Al Gore |journal=Rolling Stone |date=2000-11-09|first=Jann |last=Wenner |volume=836 |accessdate=2007-11-06 ]

* Mick Jagger, December 14, 1995 [cite news |first=Jann |last=Wenner |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/mick_jagger_remembers/page/2 |date=1995-12-14 |title=Jagger Remembers |work=Rolling Stone |accessdate=2007-11-06 ]

* Bill Clinton, December 9, 1993 [cite journal |title=President Bill Clinton |journal=Rolling Stone |date=1993-12-09 |first=Jann |last=Wenner |issue=671 |accessdate=2007-11-06 ]

* Jerry Garcia, January 20, 1972 [cite journal |title=Jerry Garcia |journal=Rolling Stone |date=1972-01-20 |first=Jann |last=Wenner |issue=100 |accessdate=2007-11-06 ]

* John Lennon, January 21, 1971 [cite news |first=Jann |last=Wenner |title=John Lennon |date=1971-01-21 |work=Rolling Stone |accessdate=2007-11-06 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/16313366/john_lennon_the_rolling_stone_interview ]

* Bob Dylan, November 29, 1969 [cite journal |title=Bob Dylan |journal=Rolling Stone |date=1969-11-29 |first=Jann |last=Wenner |issue=47 |accessdate=2007-11-14 ]

* Pete Townshend, September 28, 1968 [cite news |first=Jann |last=Wenner |title=Pete Townshend: The Rolling Stone Interview |date=1968-09 |publisher=Rolling Stone |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/15287871/exclusive_audio_jann_wenners_1968_interview_with_pete_townshend |accessdate=2007-11-14 ]


External links

* [http://www.jannswenner.com/ The Official Jann S. Wenner Website]
* [http://www.nndb.com/people/718/000024646/ Jann Wenner] at Notable Names Database
* [http://www.gadflyonline.com/archive/July99/archive-zeitgeist.html How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Jann Wenner] Article by David Dalton in Gadfly
* [http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/FineOnMedia/archives/2007/11/an_in-depth_int.html An In-Depth Interview With Jann Wenner] at Business Week
* [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/16313366/john_lennon_the_rolling_stone_interview Audio of Jann S. Wenner's historic interview with John Lennon, conducted in December of 1970] at Rolling Stone.com
* cite web|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10224178/our_1000th_issue |title=Our 1000 Issue |accessdate=2007-11-05 |last=Wenner |first=Jann
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/business/yourmoney/25wenner.html?ex=1293166800&en=51225eb00f59d32f&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Read Me?] Article from the New York Times, December 25th, 2005
* [http://www.dailycal.org/printable.php?id=25647 The Origins of Rolling Stone] Article from The Daily Californian August 20, 2007
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050302531.html How Does It Feel] Article from The Washington Post May 4, 2006
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20060510/ai_n16355238/print Revolutionary, wild, unpredictable- and that was just the writers] Article from The Independent (London) May 10, 2006

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