About KCCIOn July 31, 1955, KRNT-TV went on the air as the third television station in Des Moines and the ninth in Iowa. The Cowles family, owners of the Des Moines Register and Des Moines Tribune newspapers, as well as KRNT radio, owned it (AM 1350 and the original KRNT-FM at 104.5, which went dark). The calls stood for the journals' moniker in central Iowa, "the R 'n T".
Both the Cowles family and competitor KSO radio (now KXNO, which was also controlled by Cowles interests until 1942) petitioned for the channel 8 building permission. Due to concerns with the Cowles' ownership of Look magazine, a decision was delayed. Eventually, the two stations established an agreement in which KRNT owned 60% of the TV station and KSO owned 40%. However, once the station's license was authorized by the FCC, KRNT quickly purchased KSO's part of the station. KRNT-broadcast TV's day used to be roughly five to six hours long, with a 15-minute news segment later in the evening. Because of KRNT radio's lengthy relationship with the CBS Radio Network, the station has been a member of the CBS television network for its entire history.