Class 12: Lew Wasserman, MCA, and the New Media Conglomerate

In today’s class, we surveyed some of the contributions Lew Wasserman made between the 1940s and 1980s to the Hollywood system. With the fall of the studio system, the role of the movie mogul had become all but irrelevant. Wasserman as an agent essentially controlled many movie projects in Hollywood because the actors and other talent under his representation worked in various media.

Moreover, he took MCA from a talent agency representing musicians in the Midwestern US to one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. One of the MCA properties would pioneer a new way to centralize the control of production and to market movies in a whole new way, giving birth to the modern movie blockbuster.

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