It's hard to imagine Rolling Stone magazine without Jann Wenner. Chicago fans of the iconic magazine may have to get used to the idea, though. Jane Wenner, the editor/publisher's estranged wife, has filed for divorce, a move that some say means the Wenners will be selling.
The couple has been separated since 1995. Jann left his wife for a man, former model Matthew Nye. The two remain together. They have three children by surrogate.
Jane's filing, in June, raises two questions. First, why file now? Second, why not file in 1995?
According to unnamed sources, the "why now" answer may lie in the fact that Jann's home state now recognizes gay marriage. The "why not in 1995" answer may just have a dollar sign next to it.
When Jann and Ralph J. Gleason founded Rolling Stone in 1967, they bankrolled their venture in part with money from Jane's family. Jann and Jane have been financially bound -- to one another and to the magazine -- ever since.
The magazine is now part of Wenner Media LLC, a privately held company. Rolling Stone has been an enormous success, earning the Wenners millions of dollars each.
Publishing insiders say Jann has said a divorce would be too complicated and costly. If the magazine sells, unnamed sources suggest $700 million as a reasonable asking price.
Another insider says that Jann has been spending most of his time at his home in Sun Valley. The same person said the possibility of a sale made sense, if only because none of Jann and Matthew's kids wants to take over.
It's a lot of speculation right now. What the press does know for sure is that Jane Wenner filed for divorce on June 20 and that Jann Wenner is 65 now.
We may be able to put off the thoughts of a Jann Wenner-less Rolling Stone. We can't get over the idea of Jann Wenner being 65, though.
Source: New York Post, "Jane divorcing Jann at last," Aug. 17, 2011