KCBS' start-up date is actually pre-dated by years when it was used for experimental purposes, first going on as W6XAO in 1931 and broadcast on receivers using 80 lines of resolution. It went off in 1935, then returned in 1936 using a 300-line resolution standard. It broadcast on the now-discontinued frequency of channel 1, moving to channel 2 in 1945 when the FCC reserved channel 1 for low-powered community stations. In the Los Angeles market, channel 1 would be occupied for a short time by KARO in Riverside around 1946.
Channel 2 went on as a commercial station in 1948 as KTSL and was affiliated with the DuMont network. The affiliation switch to CBS in 1951 came about when CBS was unable to sway Times-Mirror, owner of then-CBS affiliate KTTV/channel 11, to sell its half of that station to them, so they sold their share to Times-Mirror and switched their affiliation to channel 2, which was rebranded KNXT (named as the television counterpart of KNX radio, which is at 1070 khz). CBS bought KNXT outright.
In 1984, the station changed calls to KCBS-TV, mirroring their New York City flagship WCBS. (KNXT is currently the call for a religious station in the Fresno market, airing on channel 49.) In 2002, upon the FCC relaxing duopoly laws in major markets, CBS bought KCAL-TV/channel 9. KCBS had been in the ratings cellar with their local news for over two decades, making attempts to reinvent themselves since the 1970s, when they were surpassed by ABC affiliate KABC-TV/channel 7.
Since their inception, KCBS had broadcast from Columbia Square in Hollywood. In 2007, they moved to a new digital facility at CBS Studio Center in Studio City. The station can be seen on DirecTV (channel 381) for viewers who cannot adequately receive CBS from their nearest market.
|1948||KTSL||As a Dumont affiliate|
|1951||KNXT||Switched to CBS|
Current CBS Prime-Time Schedule