Change is a funny thing. It can be a time of tremendous adventure and growth, as well as a time of nervousness and trepidation. This industry has undergone a lot of change in the last couple of years, and we've helped to tell the story. Now, for the first time, we find ourselves part of that story.

No doubt you've heard of the many changes we've experienced here in the last week. No doubt you've also heard a slew of rumors as well -- heaven knows we have. We're writing to you today to clear the air a bit, to give you a sense of where we are right now, what we've experienced, where we're going and the weeks and months ahead, and how we're going to continue to serve both you and the industry that means so much to us all.

First things first: Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions magazines are still open for business. The entire staff -- associate publisher/editorial director David Johnson, consulting editor Ellen Lampert-Greaux, sales reps Aimee Eckert and Holly O'Hair, art director John Scott, production coordinator Diane Straughen, and group publisher Bob MacArthur -- are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the March issue of ED, writing, selling, and editing the March issue of LD, posting content to the websites, and sending out Ewire, our weekly e-newsletter. We're also deep into planning the April and May issues, the Broadway Lighting and Sound Master Classes, the EDDY Awards, and more into the rest of 2004.

In other words, we have absolutely no plans to shut either book down, merge the two into one publication, make party hats out of them, or any other wild rumor you may have been hearing. Each is too important to its respective markets. Now entering its 27th year, Lighting Dimensions is the only magazine dedicated to the design and technology of entertainment lighting for concerts, clubs, and the performing arts. Entertainment Design, 36 years young, is the industry's most established chronicler of set, lighting, sound, costume and projection design and technology. These two magazines have served as the inspiration of generations of designers and technicians over the years, and we hope it will continue to do so for generations to come.

But we are moving forward. Both magazines have long had a strong reputation in the industry for solid editorial content, and we will continue that tradition. We are deep in the process of restaffing the editorial department, adding a managing editor, editorial assistant, and most importantly, a new editor for Lighting Dimensions. We're putting together a short list of top industry candidates for the latter position and hope to make an announcement in the coming weeks. David, recently promoted to associate publisher/editorial director, will continue to serve as editor of Entertainment Design and will handle similar duties for LD until a new editor is found. Ellen, who has long written many of the features in both magazines, will continue in that role as well. And our team of veteran freelancers and columnists remain in place.

There will be some changes. Look for a re-focus, re-design and re-launch of Lighting Dimensions later this year. We've been listening to readers, advertisers, and the advisory board, made up of respected industry designers and manufacturers, about the changes they'd like to see to the magazine; expect to see many of those changes--as well as some surprises--in the weeks and months ahead.

Lighting Dimensions and Entertainment Design are the official publications of The Entertainment Technology Show/LDI; they were there when the show was founded 16 years ago in Dallas,and they were there at last year's hugely successful show in Orlando. Look for an even closer alliance with the show in the coming year, as the magazines and trade show secure their role as the industry's dominant method for reaching markets.

We got an email from industry veteran who said, "This is a people business at the end of the day." We couldn't agree more. Many of you had longstanding relationships with the people who left the magazines. Believe me, we understand how confusing this all may seem. We consider them all our friends as well. They have decided to make plans of their own, and we wish them the best of luck.

But please remember the people who now represent the core of these magazines have longstanding relationships in the industry as well. We're not the faceless corporate machine some in the industry are so fond of railing against. We're Ellen, Aimee, Holly, David, John, Diane, and Bob. We have deep roots in this industry. (Well, all except for Bob; he's the new guy, but we think you'll like him.) We consider most of you our friends, and we hope to make more friends in the months ahead.

We've received a tremendous outpouring of support in the past week. But we all realize that we have major challenges ahead of us. We have magazines, websites, and a newsletter to create, master classes to produce, and an industry to help support. Most importantly, we need to re-establish your faith and trust in these magazines and re-build them to mirror the future of our industry. And that's exactly what we intend to do.

We'll see and talk to all of you soon. After all, we're not going anywhere.

Sincerely,

Aimee Eckert
David Johnson
Ellen Lampert-Greaux
Bob MacArthur
Holly O'Hair
John Scott
Diane Straughen