Pioneer officially leaving the TV biz by March 2010, focusing on audio

Bad news Kuro fans, the rumors were true and Pioneer is leaving the TV manufacturing business. On the upside, the restructuring deadline is March 2010, so a predicted net 130 billion yen ($1.44 billion) loss shouldn't be enough to get between you and the plasma HDTV of your dreams. The company's U.S. and U.K. plants are shutting down by April and February of this year, respectively, and product development for TVs beyond what's currently on the market is ending, seeing no prospects for improving profitability even after combining plasma efforts with Panasonic and LCDs with Sharp. Overall, there will be 10,000 fewer full time and temporary Pioneer employees than there were at the end of last year, while pay and bonuses for execs have been cut. The future for Pioneer? Mostly car audio, including in-car Blu-ray players and networked electronics, while its home electronics business focus on audio, DJ equipment and cable TV boxes, with a focus on using its expertise in improving sound. All other ugly details are contained in the press release, mourning the passing of another plasma supplier is in the comments.

[Via Bloomberg and AV Watch, thanks Carl H.]