Keith J. Kelly reports Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal and Us Weekly parent Wenner Media is trying to refinance $194 million of debt and that negotiations with banks haven’t been going well.
Last week, Standard & Poor’s added to owner Jann Wenner’s difficulties by slapping a “B” rating on the debt with a negative outlook, citing industry-wide pressures, especially in the market for celebrity tabloids such as Us Weekly.
Under the worst-case scenario, a failure to resolve the debt question next year could put Wenner Media in play, although for the moment that seems a long shot.
Kelly’s sources say Us Weekly has annual profits of $40 million, while Rolling Stone brings in $5 million a year. Wenner’s Men’s Journal is reportedly losing money.