Everybody Must Get Stoned

Another chapter in the ongoing tale of how the media business sucks

Rolling Stone has finally given up. Yep, according to the New York Times, Jann Wenner has hired a limey editor who’s going to have the magazine doing the Full Monty posthaste—by this I mean employing the we-need-to-be-more-like-Maxim formula of shorter stories, more pictures, and dumber content. The new kid on the block is one Ed Needham, he of For Him Magazine infamy, who is quoted in the article as saying, “I don’t think people have time to sit down and read.”

Now I’m the first in line to bash The Stone for hyping whatever happens to be popular without regard for taste, for being Jann Wenner’s personal suck-up tool, for being all too frequently a tool of the music biz. But at least the magazine, for all its faults, still had content: Actual researched stories, frequently interesting, occasionally even enlightening. Stories that had to be read, not just skimmed or flipped through. Apparently, that’s becoming a thing of the past; The Stone is choosing to become just another piece of crap.

Update: This is what Rolling Stone became under Needham. RS-909, November 2002. -ed.

18 thoughts on “Everybody Must Get Stoned”

  1. I have subscribed to Rolling Stone for 15 years, only because after digging through the star fucker reviews and dreadful “What’s Hot” features, you can usually find at least one–sometimes two–really good articles. If RS goes the way of Maxim Magazine I will have to end our long, abusive relationship.

  2. I saw that quote in the Times today and decided that was the tip of the scales I was looking for – no, I won’t be subscribing to Rolling Stone.”All the great media adventures of the 20th century have been visual…” Mr. Needham said, citing “television, movies, [and] the internet.” What magazine hires a managing editor who still thinks TV is the hip thing? Goddamn rolling stoners, that’s who…

  3. Someone needs to tell that jackass that we’re in the 21st century now–and point out to him that in reality, most of the great media of the 20th Century was *not* visual. The 20th century saw more radio, books, newspapers, and magazines than TV, movies, and the Internet.

  4. This is part of the general decline in magazines and periodicals. They’re all more than 2/3 advertising to begin with, and frankly, there’s not much content there anyway. The last magazine I read on a regular basis was Psychotronic Film, which was way cooler then RS ever was…

  5. Let’s face it: The FHM approach is going to be more skin, less music. “Visual.” Right. Of course, there is that classic RS cover with Nastassia Kinski and the snake. . . . (Yeah, I know, now she’s doing hair color commericals about covering her gray, but, still.)

  6. I guess I don’t get what the big deal is. I ended my subscription to RS about a decade ago. It ceased to be relevant to me at all before that. However, the new editor’s quote alone makes me wonder why the hell he’s in print media to begin with. Oh well. A giant turd gets stinkier. I was holding my nose anyway.

  7. It’s taken me 4 months to reply, but here’s the obvious opportunity- Did any of you subscribe to Rolling Stone for any other reason other than to masturbate? I didn’t. Music?-goto Magnet, Copper Press, Glono, DIW, anything. If you want anything else, hold on for more, cuz they’ll figure out a way to give it to you, and you want it.

  8. The things is, RS is kinda like Saturday Night Live in that it’s never the BEST source for what they do, but they have streaks of really good shit. RS still has the name and the pull to gte really good feature writers, particularly in the National Politics world. I’ve remained a RS subscriber mainly out of habit. Old habits die hard but it may just be time to break this one. I guess I was always waiting for “the last straw” and a turn toward FHM/Maxim/Stuff “journalism” may just be it.

  9. I used to subscribe for those geat article by writers like Cameron Crowe and PJ O’Rourke, but I haven’t bought a RS since Brittney made the cover. For music, its Magnet and Alternative Press for me.

  10. But MOJO is British: I get sick of the Brit “sensibility”. I’d like to read a good American mag that captures our attitude–one that’s quite different from Her Majesty’s.

  11. things change. true only the second half of the 20th century actualy had “visual” media. but it blows me away to think about how much things have changed. I think Mr Needham is right. About the direction to take the mag, about peoples time, about the 20th century. Just because a few of us throwbacks read and enjoy content don’t mean we mainstream. Far from it. and it’s not just a preference for visuals. Only about 3 kids from my local HS are going on to collage. The rest NEED visuals believe me. They got great self esteem though.

  12. “I don’t think people have time to sit down and read”. ????? What planet did this guy fall off of? RS has been hideous for so many years and now it is just pure crap. I think Jann Wenner should just either fold up or just change the name to “teens R Us”. Oh well. Why should I care? I haven’t read the thing in ages. My brain used to rot when I would read it. Too insipid.

  13. I gotta say that Rolling Stone has *always* sucked. Get with the program: it’s a catalog sponsored by businessmen & $ to get access to the ‘disposable income’ of teenagers. Damn I’m a great dunker, though.Peace out,Kobe

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