WENN was launched as a news wire service in London in 1989 by journalist Jonathan Ashby. The company started life as the World Rock News Network (WRNN) and soon established a niche for itself, providing a daily music news service to a group of prestigious subscribers, including MTV, BBC, ABC and - a first for any Western news service - Russia's leading national daily youth newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda. In 1991 it became apparent there was a developing appetite from the world's media for celebrity news and photos and WRNN reacted by embracing this developing cult of celebrity.
The company name was changed to WENN - the World Entertainment News Network - to more accurately reflect its enhanced editorial brief. 1993 saw another significant development with the opening of the WENN picture desk designed to capture the comings and goings of the world's most famous celebrities. In 1994, a Los Angeles bureau was opened in the heart of bustling Melrose Avenue to ensure the fast-paced Hollywood celebrity scene was brought to WENN's ever-growing global subscriber network.
Throughout the '90s WENN increased its global reporting network and created translations of its daily entertainment news into a number of languages. Again, reacting to industry demands, in the late 1990s, WENN invested further in its picture division and now boasts a global network of skilled photographers who bring round-the-clock celebrity images direct from launches, parties and premieres to the eyes of the world.
Recognising the growing importance of paparazzi style imagery, under the leadership of top pap Owen Beiny, WENN developed an international pool of paparazzi photographers which includes some of the world's most talented and tenacious photojournalists.
In 2000, long-serving Commercial Director Lloyd Beiny became the company's CEO and, under his direction WENN embarked on a global expansion programme designed to secure its position as the world's leading international celebrity news and photo organisation. New offices were opened in Berlin under the leadership of Heiko Schoenborn and in New York. With the second wave of internet expansion (web 2.0), WENN's content found itself being sought out by a growing number of new web-based businesses and due to customer demand, WENN started producing highly customized content packages.
In late 2010 the company re-branded and is now known simply as WENN - and with worldwide staff exceeding 60 and hundreds more freelance photographers and journalists on tap, WENN looks set to continue its reign at the pinnacle of global entertainment news and photos.