It's been a pathetic year for Twin Cities AM radio. There were firings and layoffs at most of the major outlets in the AM landscape, but perhaps none was as sad as WCCO cutting Al Malmberg, an overnight institution for more than a decade. Malmberg's velvety voice and eagerness to connect to his faithful listeners made his fans especially devoted. An odd combination of listeners, including sleep-deprived parents of newborns, forlorn teenagers, and third-shift workers, all took comfort in Malmberg's nighttime antics and chitchat, which got them through the dark early-morning hours or gently guided them to the land of nod. Malberg's firing was made worse by WCCO's choice to not even allow him a farewell broadcast. Adding insult to injury is the show filling Malberg's slot: the generic, syndicated Overnight America with host Jon Grayson, a St. Louis-based anti-Malberg. So, we award Malberg the title of Best AM Radio Host with a heavy heart.