Morning TV news gets no respect. The a.m. viewing audience is smaller and less captive than that of the nighttime broadcasts, but we hold that morning is an especially important time to have a non-annoying personality on-air, lest we start the day off cranky. While most local stations concede early and start showing national talk shows by 7 a.m., Fox 9's affable Twin Cities morning crew, led by veteran Alix Kendall, starts at 5 a.m. and sticks around until 9. Sure, the show is stuffed with silly morning-news staples like gossip and American Idol updates sandwiched between actual news and useful info like traffic and weather. But Kendall's steady delivery, warm smile, soothing voice, and friendly demeanor make even the most vacuous segments tolerable. Kendall, a Minneapolis native who's been with the show since it started 10 years ago, is a consummate professional who doesn't take herself too seriously—an essential yet increasingly rare pair of traits in a news anchor.