WCCO_Al_Malmber_at_Mic_9-21-07.JPG" alt=" width="332" height="231" />I’m trying to understand why radio stations are firing legendary announcers without allowing them to, at least, say goodbye to listeners, then again, perhaps I do understand . While it seems ice cold that an announcer could be on the air for 12 years at a station and then unceremoniously dumped, the station certainly knows this is business and that listeners are really NOT that loyal. Stations don’t want swan songs, it moves the station backwards instead of forwards and the decision has been made, it’s time to move on. I thought this story from the StarTribute in Minneapolis was still unfortunate nonetheless.
The smooth, friendly and rich sound of host Al Malmberg’s voice on WCCO Radio has been silenced before he ever got a chance to say goodbye to his listeners of 12 years.
Malmberg, 57, was fired last week in the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures taken by the CBS-owned station and by other media outlets in the Twin Cities and elsewhere around the country. The station also let go Brad Walton, who was behind the microphone on weekends overnight for about the same length of time as Malmberg.
“I’ve never had a more loyal audience,” said Malmberg. “You are a companion, and people felt like they knew you. Unfortunately, that’s been lost.”
Malmberg grew up in Richfield and remembers as a child hearing his father, Larry, play the accordion as a live in-studio musician for WCCO Radio and later WCCO-TV.
“He took it hard,” Malmberg said, recalling when he told his 85-year-old father the news. “I think he took it harder than I did.”