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'Taken 2,' 'Argo' dominate box office. NBC grabs Formula One.

October 15, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Argo" had a strong showing at the box office.
"Argo" had a strong showing at the box office. (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before topping Felix Baumgartner's jump.

The Skinny: I don't want instant replay in baseball. Just putting that out there since a lot of fans are now screaming for it after a blown call in Sunday's Yankee-Tiger game. Monday's headlines include a box office recap, a profile of Clear Channel chief Bob Pittman and a look at NPR's "Morning Edition."

Daily Dose: Ben Affleck's "Argo" has a great soundtrack. There's only one problem. The Rolling Stones song "Little T&A" wasn't technically released at the time his thriller about the rescue of six Americans from Iran in the midst of the hostage crisis takes place. If only he'd used "Shattered" or "She's So Cold." Still, a great movie with great performances, especially Alan Arkin.

There goes the boom. "Taken 2" took first place at the box office again. The Liam Neeson thriller made off with a ransom of $22.5 million. Coming in a close second was "Argo," the Ben Affleck movie based on the true story of the daring rescue of six Americans from Iran during the hostage crisis. "Argo" took in $20.1 million and likely will continue to have solid box office based on theĀ  movie's strong word of mouth. Horror flick "Sinister" scared up about $18.3 million. "Here Comes the Boom," the Kevin James comedy about a teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money for his school, was pummeled and took in just $12 million. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Around the dial. In the age of iTunes, satellite radio, Pandora and Spotify, not a lot of people have faith that there is much life left in broadcast radio. But Bob Pittman, a founder of MTV and former top executive at AOL, is betting big on the medium. Pittman is the chief executive of Clear Channel, the nation's largest owner of radio stations with more than 800 outlets. One of his big bets is creating a digital platform for all his stations (as I type this I'm using Clear Channel's "I Heart Radio" app to listen to the Dan Patrick Show). A look at Pittman and the challenges he faces from the Wall Street Journal.

New morning. While much of the radio industry struggles to adjust to the digital age (see above), one morning show keeps chugging along. National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," once seen as headed towards extinction, is holding its own against not only popular sports and political talk shows on radio, but even the TV morning programs. A peek behind the scenes of "Morning Edition" from the New York Times.

Start your engines. NBC has bought TV rights to Formula One racing, which it hopes will give NBC Sports Network, which is its cable outlet, a boost of energy. Formula One will also appear on parent network NBC, but feeding the cable channel was what was driving this deal. More on the deal from the Associated Press.

Done deal. Private equity firm Providence Equity has completed selling its stake in online video site Hulu back to owners News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp. for $200 million. The deal had been anticipated for some time. Now the question is whether Hulu will change its strategy without Providence Equity acting as an independent voice amid those big media companies. Details from TechCrunch.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep, is finding her own path.

Follow me on Twitter. It's the next best thing to being there. @JBFlint.

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