Rolling Stone is set to launch a standalone website covering the Country music scene in the second quarter of 2014, according to adage.com. The magazine also plans to open an office in Nashville with 10-15 editorial staffers, and has goals for its first Country-themed print issue, Rolling Stone Country.
Nashville editor and journalist Beville Darden Dunkerley, who also founded TheBoot.com, will lead the new Nashville office, beginning in March 2014.
“There’s a really big void in the digital coverage of country music as far as giving it the serious attention it deserves,” Gus Wenner, director of RollingStone.com, said, comparing the genre’s popularity to Nascar. “I saw some similarities and thought it could be an opportunity for Rolling Stone.”
“There’s a huge opportunity for us to expand the Rolling Stone consumer base by extending into country music,” added Chris McLoughlin, Rolling Stone‘s publisher, who said the brand will spend more than $1 million on the new site in 2014.
The new site aims to hit one million monthly unique visitors within its first 12 months, Wenner said, with about 8 to 12 items published daily on the site. Monthly unique visitors to the main RollingStone.com totaled nearly 4.3 million in October, up 34 percent from October 2012, according to ComScore.
There are no plans for a regular print version of Rolling Stone Country. A special interest publication with a price tag around $12 or $13 is planned for newsstands in the second half of 2014.
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About the AuthorJessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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