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Sony Pictures To Lay Off Interactive Group


NPR's business news starts with Hollywood layoffs.

Sony has notified California's Labor Board that come June it will lay off more than 200 employees at its movie and television studios.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports this is happening in a film industry that's facing across the board cost cutting.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Sony Pictures Entertainment will reportedly lay off its entire interactive marketing team responsible for online movie promos like this.


BARCO: The disaster film "White House Down" and others proved to be box office debacles for Sony, which posted more than $181 million in losses in the fall. To make up for it, Sony told investors it would make $250 million in budget cuts.

Outside consultants were hired to find even more to trim. Some executives have already lost their jobs as Sony downsizes.

SHARON WAXMAN: That has been going on across the movie industry.

BARCO: Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief of the Hollywood website The Wrap notes that just last week Disney sacked its videogame and Internet team. She says all of the movie studios are struggling, as audiences find other ways to entertain themselves.

WAXMAN: They're doing fewer movies, they have bigger budgets, they require fewer bodies on the lot. They have a sort of relentless pressure to produce profit margins that are very hard to sustain in a very volatile movie business.

BARCO: As for Sony, not even "The Amazing Spider Man 2" could prevent layoffs.


BARCO: Now the studio will outsource promotion for what it hopes will be a summer hit.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.
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