Rolling Stone Publisher Departs

  • by February 20, 2006
Rolling Stone Publisher Steven DeLuca left his position suddenly on Friday after failing to reach agreement on the terms of a new contract, the company said.

The magazine claimed that DeLuca's departure was by mutual agreement, but two published reports indicated the publisher was fired after a disagreement with Jann Wenner, the magazine's founder and chief executive of parent company Wenner Media.

DeLuca had worked as publisher of the music and lifestyle title for the past two years, and his contract had ended. In a statement, the company said that DeLuca was leaving the magazine immediately because "Wenner Media and DeLuca have mutually decided not to renew his agreement."

No successor was immediately named; Rolling Stone Associate Publisher Ray Chelstowski will serve as acting publisher.

DeLuca joined Rolling Stone, a bi-weekly, in 2004 from Conde Nast's Vanity Fair, where he was associate publisher. Ad pages at Rolling Stone were down 2.8 percent in 2005 compared to 2004, according to Publishers Information Bureau. PIB figures also showed that January 2006 pages were down 5.6 percent compared to January 2005. The title's circulation is currently at about 1.3 million.



The New York Times and Mediaweek magazine reported that DeLuca was fired by Wenner after the two argued over the location of an upcoming gala party celebrating the magazine's 1,000th issue in May.

The party had been scheduled to take place in the tony surroundings of Rockefeller Center, and DeLuca had reportedly secured agreements with advertisers based on that location. But the publications reported that Wenner, worried about potential costs, downgraded the location of the party to the less expensive Hammerstein Ballroom, and that DeLuca objected to the change.

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