About KHSL Action News NOWKHSL-TV came on air in 1953 and was established by the McClung family's Golden Empire Broadcasting Company along with KHSL-AM 1290. The call letters are in honor of Harry Smithson and Sidney Lewis, who founded KHSL-AM in 1935. They sold the station to Hugh and Ruth "Mickey" McClung a year later.
In October 1994, it was sold to United Communications Corporation. On September 14, 1998, KHSL-TV was purchased by Catamount Broadcasting.
From its start, KHSL-TV was an affiliate of CBS. When KRCR-TV entered the Chico–Redding market as an NBC affiliate, the two stations occasionally cherry-picked ABC programming since no third commercial station had yet existed. In 1978, KRCR-TV switched to ABC. KHSL-TV then picked up some NBC programming such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. However, the station and signal were forced to switch to KRON-TV in San Francisco whenever NBC programming aired. This required the awkward masking of KRON's IDs and commercials. Eventually, when KCPM (now KNVN) launched and took the NBC affiliation, the sharing of a third network was no longer necessary in the Chico-Redding market. However, there may have been at least one attempt in the mid-1960s to bring a potential ABC affiliate third commercial station to the area. The third station never materialized.