KEYT-TV first signed on the air on July 24, 1953. During the 1950s, the station ran programming from all four TV networks: ABC, CBS, DuMont, and NBC. It lost NBC in 1964 when KCOY in adjacent Santa Maria signed on. It then shared CBS with KCOY until 1969, when the inclusion of San Luis Obispo County into the Santa Barbara–Santa Maria market resulted in KEYT becoming exclusively affiliated with ABC. KCOY became the CBS affiliate, and KSBY in San Luis Obispo became Santa Barbara's NBC affiliate. KEYT channel 3 has identified its local newscasts as KEY News since the 1980s.