TVBizwire

Layoffs Under Way at Sony LA Times

Layoffs began today at Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Los Angeles Times' Company Town reports that the television and film studio appears to be making good on its vow last year to significantly cut overhead.

"The cuts, which began Monday and will continue this week, include employees at divisions throughout the studio, according to a source with knowledge of the matter," the Times reports. "The layoffs were felt at the studio's Culver City headquarters and at international offices. Among the divisions said to be deeply affected by the staff reductions is Sony Pictures Interactive, the studio's digital marketing arm."

In a statement, Sony Pictures spokesman Charles Sipkins said: "We are continuously evolving the business to make SPE more efficient and competitive."

The Times adds: "At an investors conference in November, Sony Pictures executives outlined $250 million in budget cuts that were already under way. The studio also hired consultancy Bain & Co. last year to identify $100 million or more in additional cuts.

"The layoffs that began Monday are part of this cost-cutting initiative, which was announced after Sony Pictures posted an operating loss of $181 million for the company's fiscal second quarter that ended Sept. 30."

The piece notes that the company had a number of high-profile feature films last year that performed poorly, although it has recently had both commercial and critical success with films including "Captain Phillips" and "American Hustle."

"This round of layoffs isn't the only recent one the studio has experienced," the report adds. "The Times reported in January that the studio had laid off an undisclosed number of people from its Sony Pictures Technologies group, including the unit's president, Chris Cookson."

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