The credit crunch, a looming recession and decimation in the car, financial and retail sectors inevitably have implications for all media owners, media agencies and advertisers as they face up to the worst economic downturn in living memory.
Yet not so long ago the universal mantra was that there has never been a more exciting time to be working in media - and it's worth remembering in these pressured times that this hasn't changed overnight purely because we are facing a tough economic climate for the first time in a while.
It's never nice to see people losing their jobs and this Christmas will not be pleasant for those who have just received redundancy notices, but the shake-out in the media industry does at least force businesses to look in the mirror closely and strip out the fat that inevitably builds up during the good times.
This special edition of Media Week highlights the big stories that shaped the year and analyses the likely agenda-setting issues of 2009. Media Week has had a pivotal year itself, including a redesign of our print edition and website, both of which we will build on in the next 12 months. For more industry predictions, listen to The Media Week podcast from Wednesday.
Enjoy your break and we will reconvene in print with the first edition of 2009, published on 13 January. Our website and e-mail bulletins will keep you up to date in the interim.
Steve Barrett is editor of Media Week firstname.lastname@example.org