About KTIVKTIV made its broadcasting debut on October 10, 1954, after overcoming various construction challenges, including needing to raise the microwave tower height twice to avoid interference with a tree that blocked the microwave signal. People Are Funny began at 6 p.m., followed by The Liebman Spectacular from 6:30-8 p.m., The Television Playhouse from 8-9 p.m., and The Loretta Young Show from 9-9:30 p.m.
Although the station has always been an NBC affiliate, it shared ABC programming with KVTV/KCAU-TV until September 2, 1967, when KCAU moved to ABC. The station was also temporarily linked with the NTA Film Network in the late 1950s.
The station was co-owned for many years with the Sioux City Journal. The Perkins Brothers Company, which had owned both facilities, sold KTIV to Black Hawk Broadcasting, which also owned fellow NBC affiliate KWWL-TV in Waterloo, in 1973. In 1980, Black Hawk joined with Forward Communications and sold KTIV and KWWL to AFLAC. In 1989, Quincy Newspapers purchased KTIV from AFLAC.
KTIV's newscasts began broadcasting in high definition in June 2011. It was the second station in the Sioux City market (after KCAU) to start showing news in HD, and the final station to start adopting a widescreen format for local news.
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw and former KNBC anchor Paul Moyer both started their careers on KTIV.