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December 8, 2006
New 'dog' in KXJZ kennel


This just in for all you public radio geeks:

John Florek, founding host of the popular Saturday night eclectic-music program "Blue Dog Jam" (7-10 p.m.) on KXJZ (90.9), is out. The permanent replacement as host will be Chris Oshiro (pictured, left), but KXJZ's jazz music director Gary Vercelli says staffers Dennis Newhall and Devin Yamanaka will serve as guest hosts in the next few weeks.

Florek, who also hosted "Acid Jazz" later on Saturday nights, is "no longer working at the station," says station manager Carl Watanabe. He declined to elaborate, and Florek was unavailable for comment. Vercelli will host "Acid Jazz" until a permanent replacement is hired.

"Blue Dog Jam," on the air since July 2005, dared to mix in alternative rock, blues, folk and country tunes into what normally was the station's all-jazz weekend programming. A typical set played by Florek might include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Odetta, Sublime, Public Enemy and Dave Alvin.

Now that's eclectic. Maybe too much so for the taste of public radio fans. Watanabe would not address the future playlist of the show, but he did say: "People like to hear the words to songs they listen to." In other words, more singer-songwriters? That might not be a bad thing, since contemporary folk music gets exactly zero airplay in Sacramento.

But Vercelli says, "The music will be the constant, slanting in a more pop direction."

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