Popline: A Petty Affair In MCA Merger
By Richard Cromelin
Los Angeles Times — March 18, 1979
MCA may have gotten more than it bargained for in its acquisition of ABC Records — or is it less? Tom Petty, one of the prize acts on ABC’s roster, is apparently balking at being shuttled to a new label.
“We don’t consider ourselves affliated with MCA because there is no provision in our contract to our transfer to MCA,” says Petty’s manager Tony Dimitriades. “We’re not affliated with any company. We’re talking to various people.”
Some companies are reportedly tossing multimillion-dollar offers toward free-agent Petty, but MCA isn’t out of the picture. The label’s new president Bob Siner is currently engaged in what are described as “delicate negotiations” with Petty’s representatives. Siner is said to be optimistic about the proceedings.
At stake is Petty’s third album, which is nearly completed. Dimitriades is hoping for a May release, but just who will release it remains to be seen.
MCA is also facing an antitrust lawsuit filed last week by several of ABC’s independent distributors, but it can’t look for sympathy from employees of ABC: Approximately 300 staff members were dismissed by ABC in that company’s final act of self-dissolution.