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Report: Pioneer to exit TV business

A report in a Japanese newspaper says the company will stop making televisions and spin off its DVD player business.

Updated 2/12/09 at 9:35 a.m. PST with Pioneer's confirmation.

Pioneer will no longer manufacture televisions and plans to spin off its DVD player business into a joint venture with Sharp, according to a report in Japan's Nikkei newspaper.

The company is reportedly exiting the TV business rather than continue to incur losses in that division. This latest report comes a few months after Pioneer announced it anticipated huge losses at the end of its fiscal year in March and plans to lay off 2,000 workers.

Pioneer had built itself into a widely respected maker of plasma televisions, but last March said it would not make the plasma panels anymore because of skyrocketing costs and mounting losses in its TV division. It tapped Panasonic to provide the panels instead, but that deal appears now short-lived. Another clue this was coming: Pioneer showed no specific models of TVs at CES last month.

Pioneer is not alone among TV makers losing money. Everyone from Panasonic to Samsung to Sony is facing layoffs and large quarterly losses.

Update: Pioneer confirmed it will stop producing televisions by March 2010 and cut 16 percent of its employees.