Over time, it became one of the most successful and profitable independent stations in the country.
KMSP went through another ownership change on June 9, 1981, when 20th Century-Fox spun off United Television as an independent company owned by Fox shareholders; the transaction was approved alongside the 0 million sale of 20th Century-Fox to Marvin Davis.
The station grew out of an AM station, KEYD (1440 AM, now KYCR), with which it was co-owned until mid-1956.
When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened up bidding for the channel 9 construction permit, WLOL and WDGY (now KTLK) also expressed interest.
The station's transmitter was moved in 1971 to a new tower constructed by KMSP in Shoreview, while the studios and offices relocated in 1972 to Edina on York Avenue South, across from Southdale Shopping Center.
In the late 1970s, ABC steadily rose to first place in the network ratings.
During its early years until 1972, the station's studios and offices were located in a lower level of the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis; the transmitter was located on top of the tower, the tallest structure in the area until 1971, along with WCCO-TV (channel 4) and WTCN-TV (channel 11, now KARE).Throughout its years with ABC, KMSP was notorious for having a sub-standard news department with large staff turnover.Ratings were dismal with KMSP obtaining only one-third of the viewing audience of each of their two competitors, CBS affiliate WCCO-TV and NBC affiliate KSTP-TV.It was far more successful than the station ever had been as an ABC affiliate.
It became a regional superstation, available on nearly every cable system in Minnesota as well as large portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
National Telefilm Associates, which later purchased WNTA-TV in the New York City area, purchased the 75 percent of United Television not owned by MGM for 0,000 in November 1957, joining it to the NTA Film Network until it ended in 1961.