January 24, 2013
The masthead at Wenner Media's Rolling Stone is getting shorter. In addition to executive editor Eric Bates and Mark Neschis, who handled PR for Rolling Stone and Wenner's other titles, Wenner has let go Brian McFarland, who was national director of digital sales for Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal; and Robert Hanewich, Rolling Stone's creative director.
It was McFarland's second tour at the company; he was sales director at Rolling Stone from 2001-2007. He’s since landed at online ad platform GumGum.
Hanewich was creative director since August 2011, after many years in the same position at Condé Nast’s GQ.
And back in August, another high-ranking editor, John Dioso, deputy managing editor for Rolling Stone (second to top editor, m.e. Will Dana), left. None of the positions are expected to be filled.
A spokesperson for Wenner confirmed the departures but wouldn't comment further.
Like the rest of the publishing industry, Wenner faces a tough business climate; late last year, Standard & Poor’s gave the company a negative rating on Wenner’s bid to refinance debt it took on to buy out Walt Disney’s share of Us Weekly.
Us is the only one of Wenner's three titles that’s believed to be making money, but less than it used to; its ad pages were down 3 percent to 1,675 for all of 2012, per the Publishers Information Bureau. Rolling Stone’s pages fell 10 percent to 850 and Men’s Journal’s, 2 percent to 850.
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