But, as ever, media is still essentially a people business, and so what better way to reflect upon 2005 than in the words of the industry players themselves? Media Week presents the year in quotes as people saw it at the time.
"There's as much chance of Rajar sticking to its timetable as there is a Bin Laden being found in Deptford." - The Wireless Group boss (at the time) KELVIN MACKENZIE on losing his court case with radio measurement body Rajar.
Also this week Auditors investigate payment to agencies by Flextech sales house IDS; the media industry bids to help the Tsunami disaster appeal; IPC launches its new real-life weekly, Pick Me Up.
"This is Darwinism in print. The strong will rule the world; the weak will end up in museums." - Chris Hughes, publisher of Conde Nast title Easy Living - which launched two months later - on the women's magazine sector.
Also that week Ken Livingstone announces he intends to open transport distribution to publishers other than Associated; Haymarket buys glossy women's monthly Eve from BBC Magazines.
"Only a million. It's pathetic. Individually I could fund it." - PHD president Jonathan Durden on the IPA Touchpoints survey during a debate by the UK's media agency bosses
Also that week Media Week celebrated its 1,000th issue; Interpublic appointed Michael Roth, a man with less than two years' experience in the ad industry, as chief executive; the European Union threatened a ban on advertising of junk food to children across the EU member states.
"What exactly has Rajar achieved in these 13 long years of white-hot technological advance? Absolutely sweet FA." - Kelvin MacKenzie - again
Also that week Procter & Gamble buys Gillette for £30bn, prompting speculation that WPP-owned Mindshare may lose out to P&G's Publicis-owned media agency Starcom; Carat managing director Colin Mills leaves after seven years in the post.
"At the moment it's somewhere between crossing the road and getting hit by a car, and an asteroid hitting the earth." - Charlie Dobres, co-founder of I-level, on the disproportionate distribution of online ad spend across the top 10 sales points.
Also that week Doug Flynn, chief executive of Aegis, left to run service company Rentokil; The Telegraph Group announced staff cuts (17%) across the board and a £150m investment in production facilities.
"For every one person that thinks it's wank, there will be 10 who think it's wonderful." - Mark White, executive director of sales at Five, on the new TV industry body, unveiled and named that week as Thinkbox.
Also that week Future made a bid for Highbury House of £96.5m; Carlton Screen Advertising owns 80% of cinema ad market after Cineworld buys UGC
"It's like a propaganda wing of the television companies. If it's a new marketing body, I think it's a joke, actually."
Jim Marshall, chairman of Starcom, on Thinkbox.
Also that week Advertising and marketing staff at The Telegraph Group are offered cash incentives to leave early; Thinkbox board members defend criticism of the body.
"It's not been my experience that people say 'oh, you're the number one, you can have my business'."
Steve Allan, MediaCom group chief executive, on the Neilsen Media Research agency league table, revealed that week.
Also that week The Independent announced it is to change its advertising columns from six to seven; publisher Hubert Burda announced the launch of women's weekly magazine Full House; Conde Nast's Easy Living hit the news-stands.
"Quite frankly, I wouldn't trust agencies and their clients as far as I could throw them, as far as keeping secrets are concerned." - Ian Tournes, press director at Starcom Mediavest, on the issue of trust between media owners and agencies.
Also that week The BBC was ordered to stop chasing ratings and banned from competing for expensive foreign imports by a Government Green Paper on charter renewal; M&S stopped advertising in three Associated Newspapers titles over what it regarded as negative coverage.
"I think if Ofcom allows ITV to do it, it's a further demonstration of the lobbying power of ITV and of the political bias that is supporting a failing terrestrial network." - Then IDS managing director Mark Howe on ITV's bid to Ofcom to increase ad breaks by 30%.
Also that week Carat's marketing director Jenny Biggam proved rumours of her departure right by quitting the company.
"Sky will tell you that if the ads are good enough, people will watch them. As someone who's got Sky+ in my house, I'm not sure I believe them." - Polly Cochrane, director of network marketing at Channel 4.
Also that week The Manchester Evening News launched a free "lite" version; as a result of the GWR and Capital group merger, commercial teams faced cuts of up to 15%; Interpublic faced questions with analysts fearing a potential exodus of clients.
"There's a certain ceiling beyond which people like me can't go." - Mark Jarvis on why he was leaving Carat. He was later promoted to media director and persuaded to stay (briefly)
Also that week Managing director of Diabolical Liberties, Tim Horrox, was served with anti-social behaviour order for fly-posting; Andria Vidler, former managing director of Capital Radio 95.8FM and the Capital FM Network, was appointed managing director of Emap's Magic 105.4FM.
"I'm of the view that food and drink consumption is one of the great joys of life and it's too important to become really mundane." - Andrew Marsden, category marketing director at Britvic, on the obesity debate and the implications for the advertising community.
Also that week IPC Media appointed former Barb chief executive Caroline McDevitt as director of group advertising; Telewest confirmed it was exploring the sale of its content business Flextech.
"Even if he came up to me and told me the correct day of the week, I'd check my calendar." - Marc Mendoza, chief executive of the Conservative Party's agency, the Media Planning Group, on Tony Blair, in the run-up to the General Election.
Also that week An Office of Fair Trading ruling meant Associated Newspapers stood to lose its monopoly on London's Tube and mainline stations.
"He looked like a Mexican pineapple farmer to start with and then turned into this very suave character after that." - Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Conde Nast and PPA chairman, on his PPA predecessor Keith Jones (and his moustache), chief executive of Reed Business Information.
Also that week Future Publishing's attempted takeover of Highbury House was referred to the Competition Commission.
"We say we're a massively powerful communicator, but we say that we don't have an effect when we put posters up near schools and that we don't have any effect on obesity." - Robbie McIntosh, director of strategy and business development at News Group Newspapers, commenting at Media 360 on advertising and social responsibility
Also that week OMD won £40m pan-European Carlsberg account.
"Both Channel 4 and ITV made a mistake. They were slow to wake up and, in some ways, it was a bigger mistake for C4 than ITV because of what happened with ITV Digital." - C4 chief executive Andy Duncan on Freeview, as ITV bought one of the multiplexes on Freeview for £150m and C4 announced it was making E4 available free to air on the platform.
Also that week Future buys up Highbury's consumer division, minus its gaming titles and lads' mag Front.
"We're wading in the blood of lost readers of the red-tops." - Publisher and broadcaster Andrew Neil, speaking at the PPA's Magazines 2005 conference, urges tabloids to become more like magazines to survive the internet onslaught.
Also that week At the same conference, publishers were warned of supermarkets' increasing influence over the magazine market; Cable firms NTL and Telewest begin merger talks.
"They're starting to alienate viewers with the low quality they're putting out." - Alex Debenham-Burton, associate director for television at MediaCom on ITV, as television ratings show a downward trend for ITV's Saturday night peak viewing - almost 10% for early peak viewing from 26 March to 7 May.
Also that week Media Week launched a new focus for the 2005 Media Week Awards; ITV argued for CRR to be dumped; Kelvin MacKenzie revealed he was leaving TWG.
"It's like changing from playing a dingy pub to playing Wembley Stadium." - Virgin acting chief executive Paul Jackson on Sony award-winning DJ Christian O'Connell's move from Xfm. His first show with Virgin is scheduled for January.
Also that week Orange launched the UK's first 3G mobile TV service for a £10 monthly subscription; the RAB and OAA completed a joint research project on how the two media work in partnership.
"Putting a bunch of C-list celebrities in a hot place where they are going to spend half their time sleeping is probably not a recipe for interesting television." - Channel 4 marketing director Polly Cochrane on Celebrity Love Island.
Also that week The IPA drew up plans to stop media agencies being exploited over intellectual property by clients; figures showed the outdoor sector was enjoying a boom year, with revenue jumping 14% year-on-year to £213.9m for the first three months of 2005; the Daily Mail and General Trust predicted a tough advertising market ahead for newspapers.
"It's a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy: if we have more and more of these crap ads, eventually people are just going to desert TV and then you will have to pay through the nose for the viewers that are there." - Luke Duffy, group director for television at Starcom Mediavest, on the love 'em/hate 'em Crazy Frog adverts.
Also that week Barb launches a major consultation in a move to reshape the TV trading currency.
"We are proud that the bulk of our readers are influential, healthy and happy; that is what matters to me - not whether they are 18-25, smoke loads of dope and live in Islington." - Martin Newland, Then editor of The Daily Telegraph, on his battle with The Times, as the latest ABC results are released. The Times is attacked for using free offers to boost circulation.
Also that week Xfm won the Manchester FM radio licence; Media Week Awards chairman Kevin Brown left Soul.
"CDs are your cannabis, DVDs your cocaine, so what's the heroin?" - Ian Tournes, press director at Starcom Mediavest, on publishers' efforts to halt the decline in newspaper sales.
Also that week Transport for London announced its shortlist of five agencies; Havas chairman Alain de Pouzihac tipped to resign; Mark Jarvis left Carat - for real this time.
"Advertisers will always prefer channels that count their peak-time audiences in millions, rather than a collection of channels that count their audiences in thousands and can only reach half of the country." - Jane Lighting, chief executive of Five, speaking at the Future of Broadcasting conference.
Also that week Gcap's Ralph Bernard expressed fears that Ofcom would give in to rivals and create new digital multiplexes.
"If it hadn't delivered it would have been an absolute catastrophe. I think Thinkbox would have died a death there and then." - Steve Huddleston, head of media buying at BT, on the inaugural Thinkbox conference
Also that week FHM experimented with three different sizes; Zenith slashed ad spend forecast; the global Live 8 concerts took place; Capital and GWR merged to form GCap.
"Ofcom has no legal right to change the basis of the investment that was seduced from my company and neither has it a moral right." - GCap Media executive chairman Ralph Bernard hits out at the regulator over the possibility of at least one new national digital radio multiplex being created.
Also that week Walker Media unveiled plans to launch an online division; Zenith scooped £40m L'Oreal account.
"If I were part of a team working at ZenithOptimedia, I wouldn't be there in two years' time, because I wouldn't want to be part of a team whose chief executive had just accepted that." - Walker Media's Christine Walker on the agency's win of the L'Oreal account, tempered by the news that it will repitched within two years.
Also that week The Bellwether report sparked fears of a tougher advertising market; RAB and IAB research revealed one in five online users were listening to radio.
"They seem to have stopped the policy of mass booking second-rate Eastenders characters and instead have concentrated on attracting people like Caroline Quentin, Ray Winstone and Martin Clunes. People who can actually act." - Chris Hayward, then head of TV (now head of broadcast) at ZenithOptimedia, on ITV's autumn programme line-up.
Also that week Jonathan Gillespie left Omnicom; German broadcaster RTL gained full control of Five after buying out United Business Media.
"I don't think I'm suggesting one mega-cross-media audience research system, but at least if we standardised the outcomes part of all our future studies, we would make a substantial start." - Douglas McArthur, chief executive of the Radio Advertising Bureau, on the measurement challenge.
Also that week Starcom research suggested PVRs weren't hitting advertisers as hard as feared; Emap's weekly lads' mag Zoo launched in Spain; BAA reviewed its airport advertising contract.
"If you go to Terminal 3 at Heathrow, the retail offer is as good as you'll get in the centre of London." - Richard Malton, marketing director, JC Decaux Airport, which holds the account covering seven airports.
Also that week Highbury House Communications sold its remaining home interest titles; ITV doubled the length of sponsorship breaks as a result of liberalisation of rules under Ofcom's new broadcasting code; "corporate raider" Bollore bought a stake in Aegis.
"You can see how analysts in the City would look at figures like that and start to panic." - Andy Thornes, TV director at Initiative, on ITV's latest ad revenue forecasts that it will be in double digit decline by the end of the year.
Also that week Aegis bought Concord; Metro was tipped to launch in Dublin; McKenzie took a stake in Highbury House.
"I think we're going to be in this stage of flux, where each of those three players are going to be number one at any one time, over the next two years." - Mark Story, Emap Radio's managing director of programming, on London's volatile radio market.
Also that week ITV unveiled plans for its 1st digital station for kids of Freeview; managing director Mark Howe quit IDS.
"If you think all that it is trying to change is the size of the paper, you'd be mistaken. It has been working on the vision for step-changing the future of its brands." - Media Week columnist Mark Palmer on The Guardian's Berliner relaunch, which hit news-stands on September 13.
Also that week Mark Chippendale, ex-Sky sales director, became vice president of media sales at Yahoo!; Mark Palmer launched his new consultancy, Maverick Planet.
"The main consequence of the explosive growth in the number of television channels is that ITV, whose share has particularly tumbled, is clinging onto the public service tradition by its fingertips." - Lord Birt, delivering the James MacTaggart Memorial lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, which concludes that Sky is under pressure as dominant multi-channel platform from expanding terrestrial channels.
"We'd be mad if we went back to the way we used to do things." - Mick Desmond, chief executive of ITV Broadcast, on the departure of Graham Duff, managing director of ITV Sales
Also that week Mediaedge:cia scooped the TfL media planning and buying account.
"Sky is taking more of a grip on the multi-channel market, and it is rapidly becoming the ITV of digital." - DMS managing director John de Napoli on Sky winning the sales contract for Reality TV.
Also that week PHD and Opera announced the launch of global network Omnicom Media Group; IPG announced it was controversially handing back cash to clients.
"Are they going to want money for promoting products and are they going to have conflicts if they appear in another brand's adverts?" - Michael Ridley, partner at legal firm DLA Piper, on actors and possible product placement.
Also that week David Mansfield revealed he was leaving Gcap less than five months after the merger, leaving Ralph Bernard as chief executive; Secretary of State Tessa Jowell pledged 2012 target for digital switchover.
"You shouldn't be doing this job when you are 50; it's a young business and it's better you pass it on." - Simon Marquis, chairman of ZenithOptimedia and the National Readership Survey.
Also that week Gary Digby was confirmed as the new managing director of ITV Sales; ITV and C4 announced they were joining the Freeview consortium; research showed online had overtaken outdoor.
"They're setting themselves up to be the ITV of online and that's not where we want them." - Nigel Foote, managing director at Starcom EMEA, on the rise of Google
Also that week The BBC was seeking a partner for UKTV; ITV's Justin Sampson was appointed chairman of Thinkbox; More4 launched on Freeview; Isba probed IPG's media differences announcement.
"I'd prefer to see something like this than free CDs or free DVDs, because it is more directly linked as an editorial product and there's more chance of hanging onto the readers." MediaCom press director STEVE GOODMAN on the Mail on Sunday's Live supplement and the broader trend among national newspapers toward niche supplements.
Also that week Viacom and JCDecaux were shortlisted for the hotly contested TfL contract.
"This is the only example I can think of where the clients are saying to the agencies 'you have got to get a grip on this or we are going to find people who will'." - Steve Tindall, director of Mindshare Dialect, on Tesco TV and other in-store advertising.
Also that week Commercial radio announced a link-up for British Music Week; UK ad forecast was down to just 0.5%.
"The strategy we've decided on is to seek to answer the questions that are keeping advertisers and their agencies awake at night." - Justin Sampson, director of customer relationship management at ITV, on the £3m second phase for Thinkbox.
Also that week Heart overtook Capital as London's top radio station in the latest Rajars.
"I'm a good leader, not a bad thinker and a reasonable teacher, but the day-to-day discipline of managing really gets me down." - Media mentor Mike Colling, managing director of agency MC&C.
Also that week SMG made redundancies in cinema and outdoor - Pearl & Dean and Primesight; Publicis Groupe Media chairman Jack Klues reviewed plans for a pooled buying operation; IPA launched talks with Google over agency payments.
"Sales people have to be cheerful all the time in their work, while I can be grumpy when I want to be." - PHD chairman Tess Alps on working for an agency rather than a media owner.
Also that week The RAB and IAB unit announced they would be cross-promoting their media.
"It's as close as you'll get to knowing what it must have been like to be Caesar." - James Hayre, head of creative, Emap Magazines, on why he thinks Bernard Balderstone's job is one of the best in media.
Also that week Maiden withheld rent to "small" billboard holders because of the weakness of the billboard advertising market; C4 was rapped by Ofcom for squeezing too much advertising into its screenings of Lost.
"We are seeing a clash between globalisation in terms of the rules and the regulations of best practice from New York and more informal systems and contracts that exist in other markets." - Martin Sambrook, global accounts director at Media Audits, on one of the reasons fuelling the media differences debate.
Also that week The Observer unveiled plans for a women's magazine to tie in with its Berliner launch in the new year.
"There is not really a 'branded content market' as yet." - Tim Brady, sponsorship director at Alliance, on the opportunities available for brands outside the traditional 30-second ad.
Also that week NTL revealed a merger bid for Virgin Mobile; BAA announced its shortlist for its £500m airport contract.
"Ultimately content will determine which delivery models succeed." - ANDREW WALMSLEY, co-founder of digital agency I-level, on the battle for broadband supremacy.
Also this week The Advertising Association announced the appointment of Mark Lund - CEO of creative agency Delaney Lund Knox Warren - as its new chairman; the newspaper ABCs for November showed a 6.3% year-on- year rise for The Guardian.
2005's MAJOR MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Managing director of Carat, Colin Mills, and colleagues Jenny Biggam, marketing director, and Mark Jarvis, media director, all quit the agency, resurfacing in September as co-founder of The7Stars
Doug Flynn, chief executive of Aegis, moved to service company Rentokil
Executive strategy director
Mark Palmer left OMD Group, re-emerging with his own consultancy Maverick Planet, in August
Fru Hazlitt, managing director of Yahoo! UK & Ireland, left to become chief executive of radio at Scottish Media Group
Chairman and chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie left The Wireless Group, the company he founded and home of Talksport
Jonathan Gillespie quit Omnicom
Mark Howe quit as managing director of IDS, later to reappear as chief executive of Thinkbox
Mark Chippendale, ex-Sky sales director, was appointed vice president of media sales at Yahoo!
Mike Anderson left The Evening Standard to run The Sun and The News of the World for News International
Graham Duff quit ITV to study business in Philadelphia
Alison Reay quit as sales boss of Yahoo! UK & Ireland
Capital boss David Mansfield left the newly merged Gcap
MediaCom's former chief executive Stephen Allan was appointed Group M UK chief executive
Joint managing director Nick Lawson took over from Stephen Allan as boss of MediaCom
COMPETITION - WHO SAID WHAT?
It must be the Christmas spirit getting to us because we're in a generous mood. We have got one iPod Shuffle, courtesy of OMD, to give away to the clever-clogs who can tell us which media names came up with the following quotes. We've even given you clues - so you can't say fairer than that.
Send in your guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 6 and you could find yourself the proud owner of this neat little gadget. The winner will be picked at random from those entries with the most correct answers. Good luck - and have fun trying.
WHO SAID THAT?
"I'll answer any questions except about the size of Lord Birt's penis."
This iconic feminist was speaking out at the Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in September
"I'll continue this fight until I'm lowered into the ground in Marconi's old casket."
This promise/threat from one of media's most outspoken characters was aimed at radio measurement systems
"I can't remember a time when two magazines launched in the same sector, so close together and one defeated the other by such a margin."
The head-to-head launches of Zoo and Nuts provoked some true fighting talk from this publishing stalwart
"ITV is like a cannibal eating itself."
This multi-channel giant's boss painted a pretty picture with words when she spoke about ITV's reliance on advertising revenue to support its inroads into digital
"I have to be honest and say the fact that MacKenzie has spent time thinking about me clenching my buttocks is slightly unnerving."
Kelvin's musings proved a scary thought for this commercial radio boss rival
"Obviously having money means I have the ability to squander it - and squander it and enjoy it. I'd rather enjoy life than sit on a pile of cash."
This agency front man revealed to Media Week the real reason why he went "plural"