About KAIT 8KAIT first signed on July 15, 1963 as an independent station, a venture of Fort Smith businessman George Hernreich. It has been affiliated with ABC since 1965.
Most television markets in the country received at least two VHF commercial channels. However, the Jonesboro market could only receive one VHF license because it was sandwiched between Springfield (channels 3 and 10) to the west, Memphis (channels 3, 5, 10, and 13) to the east, Cape Girardeau (channels 3, 6, 8, and 12) to the north, and Little Rock (channels 2, 4, 7, and 11) to the south. KAIT was fortunate to receive this license, and as a result became the only television station to serve Jonesboro until KTEJ signed on the air in May 1976.
The Hernreich family sold the station to Channel Communications in 1984. That company, in turn, sold KAIT to Cosmos Broadcasting, the broadcasting arm of South Carolina-based insurer Liberty Corporation, in 1986. Liberty exited the insurance business in 2000, bringing the Cosmos stations directly under the Liberty banner. Previous owner Raycom Media obtained the station in 2005 through its purchase of Liberty. For many years, KAIT also operated a low-powered translator station K11JW operating on Channel 11 in nearby Blytheville, Arkansas.