Based on the real-life journalist of the same name, Ben Fong-Torres is an editor at Rolling Stone magazine. He is William's primary point of contact on the road, checking in with him periodically and ensuring the young journalist stays on task. The actual Ben Fong-Torres knew Cameron Crowe was a youngster from the time he first offered him an assignment for the magazine, but the Ben Fong-Torres of Almost Famous has no clue about William's true identity—that is, until the end of the film.
Fong-Torres is a professional, an individual who takes his job very seriously. He is sympathetic to William, but at the same time will not allow the ineptitude of a new journalist to compromise the reputation of his magazine. "You're not there to party," he reminds William. "We've already got one Hunter Thompson."