Agenda 8/19/18

By S-3 Public Affairs


Quartz reports on a new survey exploring the “culture versus strategy” debate. The review finds that the more senior you are in the organization, the more emphasis you are likely to put on culture. “There is a marked tilt in favor of culture in the higher levels of the organization, with the numbers moving almost steadily toward culture as you move from individual contributor to CEO.”

“Why are senior leaders likely to value culture more than executives further down in the organization? … First, managers, unlike their superiors, have little opportunity to shape culture and are therefore likely to undervalue it to some degree. Second, as leaders rise higher they gain a more comprehensive view of the organization’s many moving parts and see culture as the means of aligning all those parts around strategy. Third, because more senior leaders manage people who manage other people, they must rely on the culture, rather than direct contact, to ensure constructive interpersonal dynamics throughout their organizations.”



Axios’ Mike Allen shares good news for Hollywood. The AP reports, “After the cataclysmic, the-sky-is-falling summer of 2017, when overall grosses slid 14.6 percent from the year before, Hollywood has rebounded. Ticket sales in North America this summer are up 11.3 percent, according to comScore. The comeback is even more pronounced when you factor in that the annual Marvel movie kickoff to summer slid just ahead of the official first weekend of May start, shifting the $678.5 million domestic for Disney’s ‘Avenger: Infinity War’ to the spring. Amid a remarkably turbulent time for the movie business, this summer has been surprisingly, almost weirdly, steady.”

What’s to thank? “MoviePass, the flailing subscription service, has claimed responsibility. Subscription moviegoing has surely had an additive effect, bringing more regular visitors to theaters. But how much? There’s no statistical evidence of MoviePass boosting bottom lines, and studio executives downplay its influence as minimal. … MoviePass, which this week reduced its plan to three movies a month, says it accounts for 6 percent of all domestic tickets. Mid-summer, AMC trotted out its own $20-a-month subscription option, attracting 260,000 subscribers in its first seven weeks. AMC on Thursday said that’s translated to about 1 million admissions or about 4 percent of U.S. moviegoers at AMC theaters, the country’s largest chain.”

But perhaps it’s just better movies. “Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, said it’s difficult to extrapolate how big a driver subscription services have been, though he credited the copious attention and drama around MoviePass with fueling moviegoing awareness. He’s more inclined to point to the improved studio project, specifically sequels like ‘Incredibles 2,’ ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and ‘Deadpool 2.’ ‘The one thing that was very different from last year’s sequels is that people wanted to see these. That’s what it comes down to,’ said Bock. ‘You can say Hollywood’s running on good credit and that’s probably one of the reasons people are coming out weekend after weekend.’”

BONUS: Bloomberg reports, “ Inc. is in the running to acquire Landmark Theaters, a move that would vault the e-commerce giant into the brick-and-mortar cinema industry, according to people familiar with the situation.”


The White House is hosting an event Monday honoring agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.


The Senate returns on Monday and will resume consideration of the minibus appropriations bill. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday.

Monday (August 20): Senate Commerce Committee field hearing on pipeline safety in the Great Lakes (to be held in Traverse City, MI); Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee field oversight hearing to review the federal role in preventing flooding events in Ellicott City, MD;

Tuesday (August 21): Primaries in Alaska and Wyoming; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the current effectiveness of Russia sanctions and potential for next steps, with testimony from representatives of the Treasury, Homeland Security and State Departments; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S.-Russia relations, with testimony from representatives of the State and Treasury Departments; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nominations of Alan Shaffer (to be deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and management), Veronica Daigle (to be assistant secretary of Defense for readiness and force management), Robert McMahon (to be assistant secretary of Defense for sustainment), E. Casey Wardynski (to be assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs),and Alex Beehler (to be assistant secretary of the Army for energy, installations, and environment); Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to examine CMS efforts to fight Medicaid fraud and overpayments, with testimony from CMS Administrator Seema Verma and GAO Comptroller General Eugene Dodaro; Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on cyber threats to the nation’s critical infrastructure; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing on energy efficiency of blockchain and similar technologies; Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Subcommittee hearing on financial literacy and retirement security;

Wednesday (August 22): Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider 4 pending nominations and hearing on the nominations of Kevin Sullivan (to be ambassador to Nicaragua), Francisco Palmieri (to be ambassador to Honduras), and Karen Williams (to be ambassador to Suriname); Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending nominations; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Faulkender (to be assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy) and Elizabeth Darling (to be Commissioner on Children, Youth, and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services); Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of William Bryan (to be undersecretary of Homeland Security for science and technology) and Peter Gaynor (to be deputy FEMA administrator); Senate Rules & Administration Committee business meeting to consider the Secure Elections Act; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on 14 public lands bills; Senate Indian Affairs Committee oversight hearing to examine efforts to maintain and revitalize native language for future generations;

Thursday (August 23): Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Kathy Kraninger (to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Kimberly Reed (to be president of the Export-Import Bank), Elad Roisman (to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission), Michael Bright (to be president of the Government National Mortgage Association), Rae Oliver (to be inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development), and Dino Falaschetti (to be director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research); Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Kelvin Droegemeier (to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy), Jim Morhard (to be deputy NASA administrator), and Joel Szabat (to be assistant Transportation secretary for aviation and international affairs); Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing on science and stewardship at the National Institutes of Health, with testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of David Fischer (to be ambassador to Morocco); Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Chicago, IL (through Saturday).

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