The station began broadcasting on analog UHF channel 57 as WKYH-TV (meaning KentuckY, Hazard) on October 20, 1969, as an NBC affiliate. Prior to its inception, some counties in southeastern Kentucky were among the last remaining parts of the country unable to clearly receive a commercial television signal over the air. Kentucky Educational Television had set up a transmitter there the year before. Although this area is considered part of the Lexington market, none of that city's television signals covered the area at the time. Lexington was an all-UHF market, and UHF stations don't get good reception in rugged terrain. This area has long been one of the poorest in the nation, and many people still couldn't afford to buy a television set. Such conditions made the Lexington stations unwilling to set up even low-powered satellites or translators in this area. Instead, WKYH was founded by local businessman Bill Gorman, who, in addition to owning the Hazard-area Cable television company, also served as mayor of Hazard from 1978 until his October 2010 death. Martin Ogrosky served as News Director and in other positions along with William "Bill" Helton, William "Bill" Gorman, Jr., and others.