Last night I had the honor of speaking at the LA Food Bank Charity Event. I spoke about my plans for the Future of Rolling Stone. (also stay tuned for a surprise ending!)
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF SPEECH
Thank You Scott.
Good Evening Ladies and Gentleman and thanks for having me at this really wonderful and very funny event… I’ll tell ya - The LA Food bank is where I keep all my food. why just the other day I made a twenty-five pound deposit of corn and flour… just a little joke.
(pause for laughter)
Seriously, It’s a great cause and I’m really excited to be here with you tonight.
Two days ago I replaced Jann Wenner as editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone Magazine. I can only imagine that those familiar with my work in television and films were, shall we say surprised at the news. It’s a position that frankly I didn’t even see in my future, even though I’ve been a long time subscriber since the age of 13.
(play to audience: any RS subscribers out there??)
Let me speak briefly about where I see the magazine going under my stewardship. Its a plan that i outlined on my blog earlier this week and I think it’s pretty simple:
- I’d like to slightly revise our rating system for music - I believe we should add a star so there is the potential for a six star review (perhaps pays tribute to the “six string” guitar)
- would like to introduce cartoons in the style of the New Yorker but with rock themes.
- I will be writing a semi regular political editorial that will be from right side of the spectrum… to balance the left leaning tone of the magazine. I’ll also be encouraging politically active rockers like Meat Loaf and Ted Nugent to begin submitting pieces… I believe there is a real need for diversity in thought and I’m happy to provide that balance.
- We will continue to create our wildly popular lists. These are great: Top 100 guitar players of all Time, etc… some new ones:
- 10 Dr John songs you might have missed
- 25 secrets Billy Joe Armstrong doesn’t want you to know
- 5 REM albums worth skipping
- The 50 Songs Steely Dan SHOULD have written
- return focus to the bands and artists that helped build Rolling Stone into the Icon that it is, with celebratory stories, covers and features on Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Eagles, Rolling Sones, The Beatles, Zeppelin, etc…
That’s my plan - as so many of you know the magazine industry is facing some very challenging times. The move to digital has been a necessary development and one I believe that Rolling Stone has been a leader in. And we will continue to expand and grow our online presence as well as our digital tablets.
But we still believe in print. Let me repeat that:
WE STILL BELIEVE IN PRINT !
(Hold for applause)
That is why I’m excited to announce that I have begun negotiations to merge Rolling Stone with TV Guide.
Since 1953 TV Guide has been one of the most respected and popular entertainment magazines in the business. Their domination at the grocery counter and with home subscriptions has been a truly remarkable.
We think it’s a perfect match.
Now before I leave you I want to tell you about one more thing.
It’s my pleasure and honor as Editor-In-Chief to announce that Rolling Stone is presenting the LA Food Bank with a free one year membership to the print edition of the magazine which includes access to our tablet version.