Music Corporation of America
The Music Corporation of America (MCA, Inc.) was an American media company founded in Chicago by Jules C. Stein and William R. Goodheart, Jr. Initially starting in the music business, the company next became a dominant force in the film business, and later expanded into the television business. MCA published music, booked acts, ran a record company, represented film, television and radio stars, and eventually produced and sold television programs to the three major television networks.
From 1945 onwards, Alfred Hitchcock was represented by MCA and Wasserman acted as his agent.
In 1948, Wasserman took over the day-to-day operations of the company and in 1950 he moved the company's Revue Productions, which had previously organised entertainment concerts, into television production. In 1958, MCA purchased the Universal Studios lot and renamed it Revue Studios. Amongst the many television series produced by Revue were Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-62) and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962-65).
Stein floated the company on the New York Stock Exchange in November 1958. In the early 1960s, Hitchcock transferred the rights to his television anthology series and Psycho (1960) to MCA in exchange for 150,000 shares, which made him the third largest investor in the company.
In 1962, MCA attempted to merge with Decca Records, primarily to acquire a controlling stake in Universal — at that point, Decca had a 89% stake in the studio. Under antitrust laws, the United States Department of Justice forced MCA to dissolve its talent agency due to the near monopoly the company would have on talent and production. A number of new agencies sprang up to absorb the those formerly represented by MCA, including one set up by Herman Citron who became Hitchcock's agent. By the end of the year, MCA had gained full ownership of Universal.
In 1964, Universal and Revue Productions were merged to form Universal City Studios, Inc.
In 1973, Stein stepped down and Wasserman took over as chairman and chief executive officer.
In 1990, MCA was purchased by the Japanese conglomerate Matsushita Electric. Following a subsequent acquisition by Seagram Company Ltd in 1995, the MCA name was dropped in favour of Universal Studios, Inc. By this point, Wasserman's influence over the company had been greatly reduced and he eventually retired from the board of directors in 1998.