2001: It's Over

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Not sure where one should begin when recapping this past year. Before Sept. 11? After? That date certainly redefined not just the year but this country's future, making most of the previous months irrelevant in many respects. Before or after, the headlines were not kind.

Bad Gets Worse

Many firms closed in 2001, including Montgomery Ward, which invented the catalog in 1872 ("Montgomery Ward's Demise Came as No Surprise to Most," Jan. 8), Foster & Gallagher ("F&G Couldn't Overcome Lost Sweeps Biz," June 25) and Uni-Mail ("Uni-Mail Rises and Falls With the Twin Towers," Oct. 1). Trade shows took a beating because of the Internet fallout ("Quake Rocks Net Show: Traffic Was Slow Before Abrupt Halt," March 5; "@d:Tech Execs: 233 Paid Delegates"). Even the DMA's fall conference wasn't immune as companies cut travel budgets and Sept. 11 took its toll ("Exhibitor Count Edges Up for DMA's Fall Show," Oct. 15). The industry also lost two creative giants ("Namesake of Johnson Box Dies at Age 88," March 12; "Bill Jayme Remembered for True Creative Work," June 4).

Sept. 11

A beautiful late-summer morning became hell as the nation watched the unimaginable. We saw the images over and over, but they were still hard to accept as reality ("Terror Hits Home: Three DMA Members Had Offices in Twin Towers," Sept. 17). Our hearts ache for the lives that were lost, and to watch the perpetrator giggle about it on that tape is sickening. In the weeks after, it was heartening to report on the many in this industry who joined the cause ("DMers Aid in Relief: Businesses Donate to September 11th Fund," Sept. 24).

Postal Problems

Before Sept. 11 and the anthrax scare, the U.S. Postal Service was having a bad year. After, it became a miserable year. (Take your pick: "DMers Hold Their Breath: Too Soon to Gauge Anthrax's Threat," Oct. 29; "Postal Bailout: USPS May Need $5 Billion to Dig Out From Anthrax, Lower Mail Volume," Nov. 12). This on top of two rate increases and warnings of losing more than $1 billion for fiscal years 2001 and '02.

In a few days, 2001 will be left to the history books, though its effects will be felt for a long, long time. I have two words: Good riddance.

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