From the editor

From the editor

David Johnson

Dear Reader:

I’m a pretty happy guy, I guess, as guys like me go. I get to edit a magazine that covers one of the coolest industries out there. I get to travel to places all over the world and cover some of the most cutting-edge events and projects happening. I get to work with a great staff, and I get to interact with a vast array of interesting designers, technicians, manufacturers, and other artisans all committed to doing great work. I’ve got a great wife and a beautiful daughter. Heck, even my dog isn’t so bad sometimes.

Having said that, I still get cheesed off from time to time. I get annoyed when someone emails me an 8MB file and expects me to spend the next 10 minutes waiting for my computer to open it up. (Note to PR flacks: CD-ROMs can be a lovely thing.) I get miffed when I’m trapped in the bureaucratic hell of an automated phone service and am asked repeatedly to enter my account number, only to have a live person on the other end of the line ask me for that same account number again, which half the time is a mix of numbers and letters and therefore cannot be called an account number in the first place. Lately, I’ve been getting irked about little people telling big lies.

As the editor of this magazine, I naturally hear a lot of rumors floating around the industry; it’s our job as the chronicler of entertainment technology to look into such gossip and see if there’s any truth to them. In the end, it’s usually an even split: half the rumors are true (or at least based on truth, anyway) and half are pure fabrication, usually the result of someone wishing so desperately for something to be true they make up the truth and pass it along.

The latter seems to be the case with the most recent rumor floating around the industry: that we’re going out of business. Seems someone out there–and though we’ve got a pretty good idea who this person is, I’ll leave it to you folks to figure out this individual’s identity–has been telling anyone in the industry who’ll listen that Entertainment Design, Lighting Dimensions, LDI, indeed all of Primedia, are shutting down.

HELLO! Reality check! We’ve been covering this industry since 1967, Lighting Dimensions has been around since 1977, and Primedia has books dating back to the 1800s. Yes, we’ve been through a tough year–2001 was one of the most brutal 12 months the publishing industry has ever seen. (Those of you in the New York area probably know all about the glee with which the New York Post and other publications have documented our parent company’s struggles in particular.) Like most of you, the recession has forced us to make sacrifices, cut costs, and do what we can to stay competitive while still providing you the reader with the top-quality editorial product you’ve come to expect from these pages over the years. And needless to say, September 11 has had an effect on everyone, not only on an economic level but on a mental and emotional one as well.

But does that mean we’re going out of business? HA! Hardly. It just means that someone out there is getting desperate. This is only the latest in a long line of bad, uninspired rumors we’ve heard about us in the last six months or so, and while we’ve let most of them pass without comment, I felt compelled to address this one, partly because it was so annoyingly wrong, and partly because of a quote I ran across the other day from a former manager of a professional hockey team that said something to the effect of, the less I say, the more rumors I start. So the time has come to speak up and put a sock in this silliness once and for all.

It’s still tough to say what 2002 is going to bring, not only to this industry but to the economy as a whole. We’re feeling guardedly optimistic. ESTA recently published a survey showing that approximately three-quarters of dealers and manufacturers polled believe that sales and rentals would be at or above sales and rentals of the previous three months. While this is not a glowing forecast, especially considering the way things were the last three months of 2001, it is reason to be hopeful that things will continue to improve as 2002 wears on. That’s the truth of the matter, and it’s good news for all of us.

COPYRIGHT 2002 PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. All rights reserved.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group