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Rolling Stone Magazine to Roll out Next Year

One of the leading chroniclers of US popular culture -- Rolling Stone magazine -- is rolling into China.

The monthly, virtually a cultural icon, has licensed Hong Kong-based One Media Group to publish a Chinese-language mainland edition, One Media Group Chief Strategy Officer Robby Yung told The Associated Press yesterday.

The target launch date is the first quarter of next year, Yung said.

He said the Chinese mainland edition, printed in simplified Chinese characters, will contain a mix of local content mainly written by a Beijing-based staff and translations of pieces from the US edition.

Given Rolling Stone's US emphasis, "the trick is to see how you can balance that with popular culture from China or from Asia, as well as popular music," said Yung.

He declined to say how much money was being invested in the mainland edition, and he wouldn't disclose terms of the licensing agreement. But Yung said Rolling Stone will receive part of the net revenue. He didn't provide projected circulation figures.

Yung expressed confidence that Rolling Stone's high-quality reporting will impress Chinese readers.

"It's not a pop culture gossip magazine. It's not a music magazine. One of the things that has always helped it stand head and shoulders above other people is the quality of the editorials, the journalism, as well as the photojournalism, iconic cover photos, and award-winning writing," he said.

Yung said One Media is collaborating with Rolling Stone on the content, and it may expand to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

"It's still their brand name and their trademark, so of course they have a right to look at the content, and we work closely with them."

(Shanghai Daily November 24, 2005)

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