Rolling Stone Australia’s future in doubt as local publisher liquidated

The future of Rolling Stone Australia is in doubt after Paper Riot, the company holding the local rights to the iconic title, was placed into liquidation on Wednesday.

Paper Riot was founded by Rolling Stone Australia editor Matthew Coyte who set up the company in 2013 to take over the title from Bauer Media

Matt Coyte, former publisher of Rolling Stone Australia

Coyte told Mumbrella today: “Paper Riot is in liquidation and will no longer be publishing Rolling Stone in Australia. The license has reverted back to the owner, Rolling Stone International. I can’t tell you what their plans are moving forward or make any further comment.”

The Emma print audience report for November 2017 claimed Rolling Stone had an annual issue readership of 230,000, while the Roy Morgan magazine readership survey reported 190,000 readers in September, down 16% from the previous year.

The Australian site is Rolling Stone’s longest standing international title, having been founded in 1972 with Bauer, then ACP, acquiring it in 2008 before selling it to Coyte and Paper Riot.

At the time of Paper Riot taking over, Coyte told Mumbrella: “While Bauer didn’t necessarily see it as a viable business for a small operation I thought it was a very viable business, and I look forward to doing some of the things that being a smaller business will allow me to pursue.”

The parent company has also being going through difficulties in recent times with founder Jenn Wenner selling a majority stake in the business to Penske Media, publisher of Variety, Deadline, Robb Report, and IndieWire in late December, this followed losing a high profile lawsuit bought by the University of Virginia over a botched story alleging misconduct by students.

Rolling Stone’s Indonesian title was closed at the beginning of this year. Mumbrella has approached Rolling Stone International for comment about the future of the Australian title.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.