Bob Guccione, Jr. says Jann Wenner doesn’t need much advice, but here’s some.
Guccione: The first thing is, as he’s experiencing, he has to become more focused and more disciplined in the business because he’s feeling the pinch. But we should all have these problems. The Rolling Stone is still a vastly successful magazine, maybe little less successful this year than last but that’s its only problem. I think Rolling Stone is a very good magazine for its audience. The product itself is less [really] information about pop culture. The product itself is you’re not old yet. That’s what it says to its audience. You know, we all read it as teenagers and young 20s, and now we’re old in our 50s and older readers in their 60s, and in a sense, were being sold the sort of delusion that we’re not older, we’re still somehow as vital as we were in our 20s. I don’t care about that, so that’s a product that [doesn’t] an appeal to me. I’m quite happy being who I am in my 50s. But, I think, to a lot of boomers, it’s a sort of fountain of youth. Having said that, by the way, I have nothing but respect for it editorially. It’s an excellent journalism, still some of the best journalism. So Jann doesn’t need much advice on how to run Rolling Stone. The web, again, I think, you have to say, what is this audience? Aging baby boomers. People clinging to middle age ‘cause it makes them sound younger than they are. That’s how old the audience of Rolling Stone is now. That’s how we readers are. What do we really want? You know, I mean, I don’t think we really want to go and hang out outside MTV, you know, and watch stars go in. I think, probably we want to know where rare albums are. I always thought that they should’ve brought one of those great English magazines that archive old music, you know. It gets to a point in your life, you go, “You know, there’s a great album I heard in ‘97, I can’t remember what it was. And I want to get that.” Maybe that’s a whole avenue for them. But Jann doesn’t need much help.