About KNWAKNWA-TV is a television station located in Fayetteville, Arkansas that began broadcasting on October 1, 1989 as KFAA-TV, a satellite of KPOM-TV in Fort Smith. Both stations were owned by Griffin Television, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The sign-on of KFAA-TV marked the first time that NBC programming was available over-the-air in much of the northern part of the market since KFSM-TV (channel 5) lost its NBC affiliation to KPOM in 1983. KPOM only provided Grade B coverage of Fayetteville and could not be seen at all in Rogers and points north.
In the early 2000s, KPOM and KFAA started a regional local newscast called Arkansas NBC News targeting the Fort Smith and Fayetteville areas. The newscast was anchored by Don Elkins, Rhonda Justice, and Donna Bragg, with weather by Steve Gibbs and Rick Katzfey, and sports with Mike Nail. Many of the anchors and reporters for Arkansas NBC News were previously with rival station KHBS (channel 40). Despite their efforts, the newscast was unable to gain a foothold in the market and in 2004, Griffin Television sold KPOM-TV and KFAA-TV to Nexstar. The stations changed their callsigns to KNWA-TV and KFTA-TV, respectively, on August 13, 2004, and KNWA became the main station. At the same time, the two stations' operations were merged in a new studio located in the historic Campbell-Bell building on South Block Avenue in downtown Fayetteville. KFTA's original studio on Kelley Highway in Fort Smith continued to be used as KNWA's Arkansas River Valley bureau.