About WHBFWHBF-TV first broadcast on July 1, 1950. It is the fifth-oldest surviving station in Illinois, and the oldest outside of Chicago and across the Mississippi River from Iowa. It was owned by the Potter family, who also controlled the Rock Island Argus and WHBF radio (1270 AM, now WKBF and 98.9 FM, now WLKU).
Since its establishment, WHBF-TV has been a CBS affiliate, with secondary affiliations with ABC and the DuMont Television Network. Following the dissolution of DuMont in 1956, WHBF shared ABC programming with major NBC affiliate WOC-TV (channel 6, now KWQC-TV) until 1963, when the new station WQAD-TV (channel 8) signed on as an ABC affiliate. The station was also temporarily linked with the NTA Film Network in the late 1950s.
The Potters sold their media interests in 1986, when Citadel Communications bought WHBF-TV and the radio stations left the Telco Building. Lynch Entertainment purchased a share in the station the next year; at the time, Coronet Communications Company was founded as a collaboration between Citadel and Lynch.
WHBF-TV was the first station in the area to deploy color radar and currently employs the cutting-edge weather technology ESP: Live (Exclusive Storm Prediction). This enables the station to warn the Quad Cities of any impending weather risks. Citadel's other stations utilize the ESP: Live branding as well. WHBF-TV relaunched as "CBS 4" on January 29, 2007. It also used a variant of the circle logo that Citadel's other major network affiliates used.