Rolling Stone magazine is going country. The venerable rock and roll, politics and pop culture magazine announced this week that it will be launching Rolling Stone Country in 2014.
Rolling Stone Country will be a standalone website with an annual print edition, Gus Wenner, the director of rollingstone.com, told AdAge.com this week. The goal is for a launch between April and June of next year.
"I went through a lot of the iterations and proposals and modeling for Rolling Stone Country, but the most important thing was a trip I took down to Nashville," Wenner was quoted in AdAge.com. "That is a culture that appreciates music."
Rolling Stone cited strong country album sales as one reason for the expansion. They are up 4.2 percent, thanks to best-selling artists like Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan.
Rolling Stone also sees country music as an opportunity to increase its advertising revenue, as country musicians are among the most popular for corporate sponsorships, according to news reports.
"Certain categories of advertisers love country music because it's a very sponsor-friendly genre," said Chris McLoughlin, Rolling Stone's publisher, told AdAge.com. "The performers are all super likable, they tend to be good people who value their fans and treat their fans well."
Nashville music journalist Adam Gold has been a regular contributor to rollingstone.com and initial indications are the company plans to add about 10 employees in Nashville.