Rolling Stone Australia
Rolling Stone logo
|Former editors||Simon Wordsworth
|Publisher||Bauer Media Group|
Rolling Stone Australia is an Australian-based magazine devoted to music, politics, and popular culture that is published monthly, it is the Australian edition of the United States' Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone was initially released in Melbourne in May 1970 as a supplement in Revolution, an offshoot from Australian pop newspaper, Go-Set by Phillip Frazer. It was launched as a fully fledged magazine in 1972 by Frazer, five years after it had started in the United States, and is the longest surviving international edition of Rolling Stone.
The Australian version of Rolling Stone was initially released as a supplement in Revolution in May 1970, an adult-based magazine, edited and published by Phillip Frazer in Melbourne as an offshoot from the now defunct, teen-based pop newspaper Go-Set for Go-Set Publications. Go-Set introduced an adult, counter-culture supplement called Core on 13 December 1969 which was edited by Ed Nimmervoll. Nimmervoll had worked on Go-Set since 1966. The US Rolling Stone magazine was the role model for Core and Frazer decided a stand-alone publication was required. On 1 May 1970, Go-Set Publications produced Revolution, Frazer had negotiated with Rolling Stone owner and publisher, Jann Wenner, for a supplement to be included from the fourth issue. It targeted an older, counter-culture audience than Go-Set, Revolution became High Times in August 1971. High Times last issue was in January 1972, each magazine continued with the supplements and were published by Frazer for Go-Set Publications. Frazer left Go-Set in February and seven months later founded The Digger independently, Rolling Stone was launched as a fully fledged magazine in late 1972 by Frazer, five years after the flagship started in the United States. Rolling Stone Australia was published monthly, it is devoted to music, politics, and popular culture; with local articles and international articles from the parent magazine. Frazer continued with The Digger, until December 1975, when he left Australia for the United States.
The first edition I saw was just so quirky. It was basically a tabloid format, A3-sized, folded so that it looked the size of an A4 page. It was on newsprint and because it was folded you could have the huge image on the front cover. It was very simple, it was just the essence of hipness—Bruce Elder, 12 April 2002
In 1974, two years after being founded, the licence was taken up by a group of journalists led by former Financial Review writer Paul Gardiner, with Jane Mathieson and Paul Comrie-Thompson. The first Australian act on the cover was Skyhooks in 1976, who reportedly hated the photo, but it did mark a broadening recognition of local acts in the magazine. Together Gardiner, Mathieson and Comrie-Thompson built Rolling Stone Australia up as a major player in terms of circulation, shifting about 35,000 copies each week. Gardiner and his wife Mathieson were in control until 1987, when they too pulled out amid mounting debts and American indifference.
After remaining dormant for six months, Phillip Keir acquired the rights to publish it in 1987 in partnership with his wife Lisa-Belle Furhagen and his friend Toby Creswell. The three university friends having virtually no publishing experience decided to pool their money and buy the licence from the Americans. Creswell and Keir were old friends dating back to their school days at Sydney Grammar School, whilst Keir and Furhagen were married. In 1992 when the friendship fell out and the marriage broke up, Keir retained the magazine, which became the flagship title of Next Media Pty Ltd. The following year Creswell and Furhagen started, the publishing company Terraplane Press/Terraplanet and launched Juice in direct competition to Rolling Stone.
Australian Rolling Stone celebrated its 25th year with a special collector's edition in May 1998, and at that time the publishers claimed the current circulation was around 40,000. In 2008 Next Media Pty Ltd were purchased by Worseley Media, in a deal that saw ACP Magazines acquire Rolling Stone magazine, in exchange for ACP titles Tracks and Waves. A few months later, ACP relaunched Rolling Stone, with a new look and size.
Year after year, Rolling Stone Australia has made me proud. They have executed the Rolling Stone mission with style, intelligence and energy. My hat is off to everyone who has contributed to this success over the years and I look forward to even greater years to come.—Jann Wenner, 2009
In 2008 the magazine averaged sales of 27,051 copies a month, down from 29,372 the year before and about 40,000 at the time of its 30th anniversary issue six years previous. Its average readership in March 2008 was 301,000, compared with 296,000 a year earlier; the readership had peaked in December 1994 at 392,000.
ACP was acquired by Bauer Media Group in 2012.
The Australian version is the longest surviving international edition of Rolling Stone magazine.
- Kent, David Martin (September 2002). The place of Go-Set in rock and pop music culture in Australia, 1966 to 1974 (PDF). Canberra, A.C.T.: University of Canberra. NOTE: This PDF is 282 pages.
- Jackson, Sally (2008-05-01). "Rolling Stone set to gather new boss". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 2009-03-23.[dead link]
- Kent, David (2000). "Go-Set: The Life and Death of an Australian Pop Magazine". Milesago. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- "Rolling Stone (Australia)". Milesago. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Cock, Peter (1979). Alternative Australia: Communities of the Future?. Quartet Books. ISBN 978-0-908128-09-9. Retrieved 2009-03-26. NOTE: On-line version is a 'snippet view'
- Mangan, John (2002-04-12). "Still rolling after thirty years". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Eliezer, Christie (2004-06-29). "Aussie Rolling Stone Publisher Gardiner Dies". Billboard Biz. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Boots, Tim (2007-04-23). "Rolling Stone still rocking 35 years on". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- Elder, Bruce (2002-04-13). "Written in Stone". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Veldre, Danielle (2003-04-11). "Juicy new campaign for Pacific Magazine". B&T Today. Retrieved 2009-03-24.[dead link]
- Jackson, Sally (2008-05-22). "Fresh home and hopes for Rolling Stone". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Jackson, Sally (2008-05-22). "ACP rolls Stone in title swap". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "ACP Magazines to publish Rolling Stone". ACP Magazines. Retrieved 2009-03-24.[dead link]
- "Roy Morgan Readership estimates for Australia for the 12 months to December 2008". Roy Morgan Research. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Official website[dead link]
- Rolling Stone Australia, Facebook
- Rolling Stone Australia, Twitter
- The Age article - 30yrs