About KVOA 4In September 1953, KVOA signed on as Tucson's second television station and NBC affiliate, eight months after KOLD-TV (channel 13) signed on as the CBS affiliate. Although KVOA was an NBC affiliate, it carried a secondary affiliation with ABC until 1956 when KDWI-TV (channel 9, now KGUN-TV) began operations. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.
It was originally owned by Chicago advertising executive John Louis, Sr., along with KVOA-AM 1290 (now KCUB). It was a sister station to KTAR in Phoenix. In October 1953, KVOA brought Tucson its first-ever live television event: a World Series broadcast. The Louis broadcasting empire eventually became known as Pacific & Southern Broadcasting, headquartered in Phoenix; however, Louis did not keep KVOA for long. In 1955, Louis sold the KVOA stations to Clinton D. McKinnon, who would later acquire KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico and combine the two television stations to form Alvarado Television. In 1962, the Alvarado stations were sold to Steinman Stations, the owner of WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
In 1968, the Steinmans sold a controlling stake in KVOA-TV to Pulitzer Publishing, making it Pulitzer's first (partial) television station acquisition outside of its home base in St. Louis, Missouri; KOAT went to Pulitzer fully a year later. In 1972, Pulitzer was forced to spin off its share of KVOA to an employee group called Channel 4-TV after it purchased the Arizona Daily Star the year before due to the tightening of the Federal Communications Commission's cross-ownership rules. Channel 4-TV also acquired Steinman's stake in KVOA around the same time.