Gus Wenner Promoted to Head of Digital for Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men's Journal
One year after taking over the website of Rolling Stone magazine, Gus Wenner has been named head of digital across Wenner Media, owner of Rolling Stone as well as Us Weekly and Men's Journal, the company said Wednesday.
Mr. Wenner, the 23-year-old son of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, has led both the editorial and business operations of RollingStone.com since May 2013. In that time, the site's traffic has climbed 40% to 7.6 million unique visitors across desktop and mobile, according to ComScore.
Gus Wenner will now lead the business and edit sides at Men's Journal and Us Weekly as well. He's steering a redesign of RollingStone.com, which is expected to go live later in the summer, and planning a redesign of Us Weekly's website. At Men's Journal, Mr. Wenner said he will look to grow the site's traffic by producing more content and ramping up its video production for advertisers.
"I don't think my age matters," he told Ad Age. "I think it's about the job we do and the progress we make. I have a lot of faith in my dad's judgment -- it's an honor -- and there's a massive task at hand. It's about the accomplishments going forward and keeping the momentum going."
Earlier this month, Rolling Stone introduced a website dedicated to covering country music, an effort that Mr. Wenner has led. The magazine opened an office in Nashville this year to support the site. It also published a country music themed print issue to coincide with the roll out.
Mr. Wenner said the site has exceeded traffic expectations in its first month.
Gus Wenner is filling a role formerly held by David Kang, who was promoted to the newly created position of chief revenue officer at Wenner Media. During Mr. Kang's tenure as head of digital, traffic to not only Rolling Stone but also US Weekly and Men's Journal increased sharply. Us Weekly drew 21 million unique visitors last month, up 53% from the previous year, according to ComScore. Men's Journal boosted its traffic 186% to 886,000.
Amid the growth in digital traffic, the magazines' print editions have seen ad pages decline this year, with Men's Journal off 8% through July, Rolling Stone down 21.5% through the week of June 16 and US Weekly off 13% through June 23, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
Their total paid and verified circulation was essentially flat during the last six months of 2013 compared with the same time in 2012, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
Men's Journal's was down slightly to just over 711,000. Rolling Stone was up slightly to nearly 1.5 million. And Us Weekly was down a slim margin to just above 1.9 million.