Al Malmberg, whose voice graced WCCO Radio for 12 years until his abrupt firing at the end of 2008, will soon rejoin the station, its program director announced Monday.

Malmberg, 62, will be behind the microphone for 830 AM from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays, starting Dec. 16. He was let go five years ago in a spate of cost-cutting measures by the CBS-owned station.

"We are thrilled for Al's return to late nights on WCCO," program director Bob Shomper said. "He is one of our most popular hosts with a huge and loyal following."

In 2008, Malmberg was voted "Best AM Radio Personality" by City Pages readers.

"I am so glad to be back on WCCO," Malmberg said in the station's announcement of his return. "I've really missed talking to all of my friends across the Upper Midwest on the big '50,000 watt blowtorch.'‚ÄČ"

Malmberg grew up in Richfield and heard his father, Larry, play the accordion as a live in-studio musician for WCCO Radio and later WCCO-TV (Channel 4).

Paul Walsh