Sony Pictures To Lay Off Interactive Group

Sony Pictures Entertainment will reportedly lay off its entire interactive marketing team — more than 200 employees. It's part of a cost-cutting trend by the major film studios.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE PROMO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Officials searching for answers as to who, what or why...

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2")

TOBEY MAGUIRE: (As Peter Parker) And it's just a matter of time before I face those with more power than I can overcome.

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

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

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