It’s the end of an era as Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, will be stepping down from his role as chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The change will take effect on January 1, 2020, where he will be replaced by John Sykes, the current president of Entertainment Enterprises for radio giant, iHeartMedia.
As Chairman, Wenner carried the responsibility of not only being the face of the Rock Hall, but the person who was blamed for perceived shortcomings, such as the lack of colored and women inductees. That burden will now fall upon Sykes, whom Jann Wenner himself nominated. “I just felt I had done what I set out to do… That it had been built, stabilized and become well financed and managed — and, after 30-plus years of running it, time for new energy, new ideas, a new generation,” Wenner said, according to the New York Times.
In 1983, Wenner aided in the founding of the Rock Hall, along with Ahmet Ertegun, Bruce Springsteen manager Jon Landau, attorney Suzan Evans, and record executives Seymour Stein and Bob Krasnow, and has served as its chairman since 2006 following Ertegun’s passing.
The institution began inducting honorees in 1986 and a few months later, Cleveland was selected as the permanent home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Throughout its history, there have been 330 inductees, comprised of esteemed artists, producers, and music executives.
Wenner is leaving behind a strong legacy, according to the Rock Hall’s website: “the Rock Hall had a total impact of $199 million in business sales in Cuyahoga County. Visitors to the Rock Hall spent an estimated $127.4 million in 2017, averaging a daily spend of $349,000, both on-site and at other businesses in the County.”