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Sony Pictures Layoffs


MarkH

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Source: today's WSJ

Sony Pictures to Cut 450 Jobs

Amid declining DVD sales and other problems, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures is planning to lay off about 450 employees, or 6.5% of its current work force, in the next few weeks, according to an email that was sent to the staff on Monday.

In the memo, Co-Chairmen Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal cited challenges to their business that have stemmed from digital technology, both legal and illegal—including digital piracy and the impact of social-media services that have sometimes undermined studios' marketing efforts.

"The business is going through a rough period of trial and transition," the executives wrote. "And we have an obligation to take the steps necessary to get through it."

The majority of the layoffs are expected to hit the studio's home-entertainment and information-technology departments, but nearly all divisions are expected to feel an impact to some extent. That includes motion pictures, television production, and corporate. Most of the layoffs are expected to fall in the U.S. and take place by the first week in March. The memo indicated that affected employees haven't yet been notified.

The layoff announcement follows a shakeup last week in which the studio made plans to reorganize the executive ranks of its home-entertainment operation. Among other things, last week's changes created a new position with supervision of global digital business. An email sent last Wednesday to employees by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment President David Bishop described those changes as an effort to "maximize our speed and flexibility."

Before about 250 layoffs last spring, the studio's head count was around 7,000. After the current round is complete, it will stand at around 6,300, a reduction of 10%. In addition, the studio will not fill about 100 jobs that are currently open.

DVD sales in the U.S. declined 13% last year, to $8.73 billion, according to Adams Media Research. That put a major dent in studios' bottom line, despite a 10% surge in domestic box-office receipts to $9.87 billion. That made 2009 the first time since 2002 that theatrical revenues in the U.S. outpaced home-video sales.

Will this affect the daytime division? It seems so...not primarily...but somewhat. I think we'll see more cost cutting at the soaps....

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Wasn't this a huge year for movies? Or was Sony not one of the movies with big hits? What were their movies?

It was another record year for the studios - combined they made $10.595 billion (up from 9.630 billion in 2008). Sony made $1,456.2 billion (up from $1,267.2 in 2008).

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It was another record year for the studios - combined they made $10.595 billion (up from 9.630 billion in 2008). Sony made $1,456.2 billion (up from $1,267.2 in 2008).

So all that about the evils of modern technology is just a smokescreen to justify firing more people.

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