About Bakersfield NOWThe station signed on the air on August 20, 1953 as KAFY-TV. It was originally owned by Sheldon Anderson along with KAFY radio (AM 550, now AM 1100). The station originally operated from studios located on Chester Avenue in Bakersfield. It is Bakersfield's oldest television station; KERO-TV (channel 23) followed a month later. Four months later, Anderson sold the station to Chronicle Publishing Company of San Francisco. KAFY-TV was initially an affiliate of the Dumont television network, later becoming a primary CBS affiliate, sharing ABC programming with KERO-TV until KLYD-TV (channel 17, now KGET-TV) signed on in 1959.
In February 1954, shortly after becoming a full CBS affiliate, channel 29 changed its calls to the current KBAK-TV. The Chronicle sold the station to Reeves Telecom in 1960. As a CBS and later ABC affiliate, KBAK had aired all of each network's color programs in color, and went to full color in 1967. In 1974, KBAK swapped affiliations with channel 17, then known as KJTV, and became an ABC affiliate.