Excuse me for being underwhelmed by the news that the Australian version of Rolling Stone is re-launching following the sale of its licence to publishing house Australian Consolidated Press. The news is so big that US founder and longtime major label act suckarse Jann Wenner is out here to celebrate at a party featuring Powderfinger (snooze) and one of the Finns (whose first name I conveniently forget.) Wake me up when it’s over.
The “new” Rolling Stone Australia will be coming off a low base. What was once a mildly counter-cultural, music-centric magazine is crammed with fashion ads and transparently feeble editorial stabs at being “cutting edge”. Sub-mainstream musical content is almost accidental and the over-priced rag feels like a brand extension of the Idol franchise.
Perversely it has no online presence – something that’s usually a given these days when you look at their target demographic. The former publishers even let the domain be parked with some on-seller/squatter. I suppose I could be wrong and it's a lame attempt to turn a dollar. Either way, it shows what little regard they had for their masthead.
So Jann, hope you have a good time at the party, pal. Here's to another 20 years of mediocrity.