Latest Pop, Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Country & Jazz News

Will Dana Leaves Rolling Stone With Lawsuits, Scandal in His Wake

The cover of the Rolling Stone campus rape story featured Dave Grohl. The story was touted in a teaser (left, highlighted) (Photo: Rolling Stone)

The cover of the Rolling Stone campus rape story featured Dave Grohl. The story was touted in a teaser (left, highlighted) (Photo: Rolling Stone)

Will Dana, the long-time managing editor of Rolling Stone magazine, is leaving the iconic music publication amid continuing fallout since he was forced to retract a story about an alleged gang rape at the prestigious University of Virginia.

Although Dana technically wasn’t fired, he’ll leave next month without another job lined up, according to The New York Times.

The magazine is facing multiple lawsuits over the bogus story that could result in millions of dollars in damages against the magazine.

Rolling Stone was launched in the 1960s by Jann Wenner,69. He continues to be listed on the masthead as Editor.

It rose to become a force not only in music journalism, but also in areas such as national politics and pop culture.

Wenner deflected questions from the Times, yesterday, when asked whether the departure was linked to the controversy. “Many factors go into a decision like this,” he said through a spokesperson.

But Dana’s departure is indelibly connected to the media scandal, which also raises questions about the viability and survival of the magazine.

Dana has served as managing editor of the publication for 19 years, making him the longest running editor to hold that position. Before that, he worked as an editor for Men’s Journal, another Wenner publication.

Dana released his own statement on his departure.

“After 19 years at Rolling Stone, I have decided that it is time to move on. It has been a great ride and I loved it even more than I imagined I would. I am as excited to see where the magazine goes next as I was in the summer of 1978 when I bought my first issue.”

Wenner praised Dana, calling him “one of the finest editors I have ever worked with.”

Will Dana (left) and Jann Wenner presided over one of modern journalism's biggest reporting scandals.

Will Dana (left) and Jann Wenner presided over one of modern journalism’s biggest reporting scandals.

The article in question, entitled “A Rape on Campus,” was published late last year. It detailed an alleged 2012 fraternity house gang rape that was allegedly swept under the rug by the university.

Although the story touched off a national debate about how universities handle violence against female students, it quickly came under attack by the fraternity and the university.

A police investigation failed to turn up any evidence that the crime took place. Afterward, Wenner asked the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism to review the article. It found in April that the story “failed on all basics.”

The article was based on one anonymous source, a woman named “Jackie,” who claimed she was the rape victim. She has never surfaced publicly.

On the basis of the Columbia investigation, Rolling Stone retracted the story.

The fraternity in question, Phi Kappa Psi, three frat members and a UVA assistant dean have since filed defamation lawsuits against the publication.

Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest music news.


Subscribe To TheImproper's Email Newsletters, Free!