About KTIVAfter overcoming some construction obstacles, including having to raise the microwave tower height twice to avoid interference with a tree which blocked the microwave signal, KTIV made its broadcasting debut on October 10, 1954. That first broadcast evening included four NBC shows: People Are Funny at 6 p.m.; 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.
The station has always been an NBC affiliate, but it shared ABC programming with KVTV/KCAU-TV until September 2, 1967, when KCAU switched its primary affiliation to ABC. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.
For many years, the station was co-owned with the Sioux City Journal. One-time owners of both properties, the Perkins Brothers Company, sold KTIV to Black Hawk Broadcasting, the owner of fellow NBC affiliate KWWL-TV in Waterloo, in 1973. Black Hawk merged with Forward Communications in 1980, and sold KTIV and KWWL to AFLAC that year. Quincy Newspapers bought KTIV from AFLAC in 1989.
In June 2011, KTIV's newscasts began to be broadcast in high definition. It was the second station in the Sioux City market (after KCAU) to begin broadcasting news in HD, and the last station in the market to begin using a widescreen format for local news.
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw and former KNBC anchor Paul Moyer began their television careers at KTIV.