Letters: Toy Soldiers, CD Retailers, Retail Analyst

Day to Day senior producer Steve Proffitt joins Alex Chadwick to share listener comments, including response to a story on a quiet war protest using toy soldiers, reaction to an essay on music CDs sold by retailers, and some strong opinions about our chat with retail analyst Howard Davidowitz.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Chadwick.

And back now with DAY TO DAY letters editor Steve Proffitt, here to share some of your comments.

Steve, welcome again.

STEVE PROFFITT reporting:

Thank you, Alex.

Howard Stern has just a few more shows until he moves to satellite radio, but our listeners wrote us about another Howard.

CHADWICK: This has got to be Howard Davidowitz, the retail analyst.

Mr. HOWARD DAVIDOWITZ (Retail Analyst): So think about this. Here are these lunatics out there building more and more shopping centers, and what are Americans doing? They're buying online!

PROFFITT: Andrew Fedorowsky(ph) of Modesto, California, writes, `I don't know who Mr. Davidowitz is, but he was great.'

CHADWICK: Well, Howard is the chairman of the retail consulting and investment banking firm that is named after him, Davidowitz & Associates. They're in New York.

PROFFITT: `Please, give us more of this man,' says Steve Gramm(ph) of Seattle.

CHADWICK: He adds, `Make him a monthly guest. Hell, make him a daily guest.'

PROFFITT: But sadly, Alex, all is not love. `Could you please never, ever invite him back on the show?' Brian Farnell(ph), Glens Falls, New York.

Mr. DAVIDOWITZ: Nothing make sense.

PROFFITT: Also last week, Alex, we ran a story about Sally Gratch.

CHADWICK: She is a retired woman in the Chicago area who leaves little green plastic army soldiers in public places, and on the bottom of each she puts a little sticker that reads, `Bring me home.'

PROFFITT: Typical of the comments we got, this one from Cathy Tiger(ph) of Eugene, Oregon.

CHADWICK: `I intend to adopt this practice here and tell others about it.'

PROFFITT: And finally, Alex, this.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) Yeah, you, you drive me crazy...

Mr. BILLY STRAUS: I listened with great interest to your story last week on branding musical taste, since it mentioned both my company and me by name.

PROFFITT: Billy Straus sent us an audio file complete with music. He's the founder of Rock River Music, a leading provider of compilation albums. Those are the kind of CDs you might get at Pottery Barn or Starbucks.

CHADWICK: I see them there, yeah.

PROFFITT: Our contributor David Was mentioned him in an essay last week that poked bit of fun at this phenomenon.

Mr. STRAUS: In his good-natured rant against the pantheon of corporations turned lifestyle marketers, how could Mr. Was possibly have omitted that most formidable of news organizations, his erstwhile employer National Public Radio? Perhaps he has yet to pass through NPR's lobby security with his own copy of National Public Radio's branded holiday CD compilation which itself is being so effectively marketed over these same airwaves. Ah, the irony of it all.

CHADWICK: Listener Bill Straus. Thanks for that, Billy. And thanks to all of you who wrote us.

PROFFITT: You can write us, too. Just navigate to our Web site, npr.org, and click on the `contact us' link.

CHADWICK: And thanks to you again, NPR's Steve Proffitt.

PROFFITT: You're welcome, Alex.

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