On this day in music history: October 17, 1919 – RCA (the Radio Corporation of America) is founded in New York City. The company is the incorporation of several different organizations including the Marconi Wireless Company Of America, General Electric, the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, United Fruit Company and American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T). RCA’s first general manager is David Sarnoff plays an instrumental role in the success and growth of the corporation. Among Sarnoff’s achievements are the establishment of the first major radio and television network, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the film production company RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum), and in 1929, RCA acquires the Victor Talking Machine Company (later known as RCA Victor). RCA makes a massive impact on the communications and entertainment industries over the next sixty years, playing a vital role in the expansion of commercial radio and in the development of the television and music industries. Sarnoff works for RCA until retiring from the company in 1970, one year before his death in 1971. RCA is eventually taken over by GE in 1986 with the music division being sold to Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) (later consolidated into Sony Music Entertainment), and its electronics division is sold to the French based Thomson Consumer Electronics. General Electric maintains ownership of NBC until 2011, when it is purchased by Comcast (NBC Universal) who purchases the remaining interest of the company in 2013.
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