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"One of the premier structures of the free world has been brought down… This is an act of such enormity that if you were communicating by drums, it would have the same effect. This was not a media event."
——KTLA anchor Hal Fishman
NEW YORK, DC ATTACKED; NATIONAL TRAGEDY UNFOLDS
Terrorists Attack as Horrified Public Looks On
The unprecedented, impossibly devastating attack on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon stopped everyone in their tracks early Tuesday, as the destruction of both WTC towers and their occupants by hijacked commercial jets was broadcast on national television. The stun effect has continued through the day, with most entertainment companies closing at least for the day as businesses and the nation as a whole struggle to cope with the tragedy.

All record companies and movie studios are said to be closed in L.A. as well as New York. Companies whose closure has been confirmed include Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, RCA, Elektra, Sony Distribution, Detroit retail chain Harmony House and retailer Borders Books & Music’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI. Musicland has closed its Arlington City Center store across from the Pentagon. Best Buy has closed some 23 stores in New York, Maryland and Virginia. All TransWorld FYE stores will be closing at 5 p.m. today. Hollywood studios including Disney, Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros. are also confirmed closed.

According to insiders, the Sam Goody retail outlet in the World Trade Center was successfully evacuated, with all employees accounted for, before the store was destroyed.

MTV has suspended broadcast and is airing sister Viacom unit CBS’s news coverage.

High-profile events have been cancelled, including tonight’s Latin Grammy Awards, which had recently been moved to Los Angeles from Miami. NARAS and CBS issued the following joint statement: "Due to the unimaginable events that have occurred this morning, The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and CBS have canceled tonight's 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards show.  Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and everyone who has been impacted by these horrific events."

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has postponed Sunday’s Emmys and all Emmy-related events this week. The 53rd Awards show was scheduled to air live on CBS from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

NARM has cancelled its Fall Conference. The three-day event was scheduled to kick off tomorrow in Bal Harbor, FL. NARM EVP Jim Donio said that some 50 attendees were already at the site for Retailer Council and Board of Directors meetings. Donio also said that a number of people were in the air en route to Florida as the tragedy struck, including Newbury Comics founder Mike Dreese, who was able to land in Miami, and NARM staffers Pat Daly and Jim Hrobak, who were diverted to Charlotte without incident. According to sources at Musicland, Dick Odette was diverted to Memphis and was en route via rental car back to ML headquarters in Minneapolis. Donio said that there is currently no plan to reschedule the conference, but that a meeting of the Executive Committee would take place tomorrow and attempt to sort things out.

In Los Angeles, Madonna’s concert tonight at Staples Center has been postponed, as has the Black Crowes show at the Greek Theatre. Ticket holders will be advised at a later date whether the shows will be rescheduled. Of the Madonna postponement, Clear Channel issued the following statement "Clear Channel Entertainment has postponed the Madonna performance originally scheduled at the Staples Center tonight. The decision to reschedule the event was made in conjunction with local authorities and the artist. The decision was made out of respect for the victims of the nationwide tragedy taking place."

Later, a Clear Channel Entertainment spokesperson confirmed reports that all of its events scheduled for tonight have been canceled.

Today's Major League Baseball games have also been canceled, and amusement parks around the nation are closed.

Harmony House also issued a statement: "In light of today’s national tragedy, and in memory of those loves lost, Harmony House will be closed for remainder of the day." The retailer plans to reopen at 10AM Wednesday, Sept. 12.

As NARM’s Donio points out, planes in the air at the time of the attack have been diverted and made to land at various points other than their destinations. Executives on the road for various events such as those that have already been cancelled will be staying put or making ground transportation arrangements until air travel resumes, which won’t be until noon tomorrow at the earliest, according to the FAA.

A website has been established to allow people who may have been involved in the tragedy to "check in" and let loved ones know their status. The site is http://www.shunn.net/check-in.

Terrorism experts are saying today’s grisly air attacks appear to have been timed so that as many as possible would be watching as the destruction unfolded, exploiting the mass media in order to demonstrate America’s vulnerability.

Others, including KTLA Los Angeles’s Hal Fishman, disagree: "One of the premier structures of the free world has been brought down… This is an act of such enormity that if you were communicating by drums, it would have the same effect. This was not a media event."

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