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Columbia Pix TV lays off 5 staffers

The first pink slips have been issued at Columbia Pictures TV as part of a consolidation of the two Sony Pictures Entertainment TV divisions under one banner.

Sources say five staffers in publicity and creative services have been let go and that cuts in other areas may follow.

Two weeks ago, the studio announced that it was centralizing management of its TV production divisions, Columbia and TriStar, under former TriStar prexy Jon Feltheimer, renaming the operation Columbia TriStar TV (Daily Variety, Feb. 15). Studio officials had no comment Monday on the layoffs.

Sony said at the time of Feltheimer’s appointment that the plan was to continue to operate Columbia and TriStar as separate divisions.

The company also said that the goal of the change was not necessarily to reduce costs but to provide a more efficient, entrepreneurial management structure.

Outsiders, however, have suggested that cutbacks were virtually inevitable in light of the move, citing savings achieved through the decision last year to fold Lorimar into Warner Bros. TV under the WB TV banner.

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