The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Sony to lay off 216 employees in Culver City this summer

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Sony Pictures Entertainment plans to lay off about 216 employees in Culver City starting in June, according to a company filing with the California Employment Development Department.

In a letter filed with the state EDD, the company said the majority of the layoffs will take place between June 2 and July 18.

On Monday, several media outlets reported layoffs had begun at Sony Pictures Entertainment, especially targeting Sony Pictures Interactive, its digital marketing agency, but the company offered no details at that time. The Interactive group promotes Sony’s movies and TV shows using websites, games and social media.

RELATED: Sony to cut $250M, reduce slate of films and lay off employees

Entertainment companies haven’t figured out how the digital realm works most effectively for advertising, said Kevin Klowden, a managing economist at non-partisan think tank the Milken Institute.

“Sony realized that they were spending a lot of money and they weren’t getting the kinds of results they wanted, especially since their movies didn’t perform as well in the theaters as they would have liked,” Klowden said.

These cuts come after Walt Disney Co. announced layoffs in its gaming division, Disney Interactive. Klowden said there are some similarities in Sony's and Disney’s layoffs.

“Rather than trying to do everything in-house that (the companies) might not be the best at, it’s looking at ways of reducing the in-house staff and then contracting that work out to others,” Klowden said.

Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesman Charles Sipkins did not directly respond to KPCC's questions on the layoffs. Instead, he emailed the following statement: "We are continuously evolving the business to make SPE (Sony Pictures Entertainment) more efficient and competitive," Sipkins said.

Sony had announced plans last year to cut $250 million from its entertainment division, over the next few years.

Sony Pictures Entertainment's WARN notice

This story has been updated.

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