Flint Broadcasting Limited Partnership requested a station with the call letter WSMH, which were assigned on September 27, 1984. WSMH first went on the air on January 13, 1985 as an independent station with Frederick (Fritz) Mills as general manager. Mills was formerly director of national sales, UPI Media in Chicago. A fire at the transmitter in April 1985 forced the station to go off the air for about one month until repairs could be made. Flint Broadcasting sold the station to Gerald J. Robinson by July 1986. On October 9, 1986, it became a charter Fox affiliate. Sinclair Broadcast Group bought the station in 1996. From 1990 to 1997, WSMH was the Mid-Michigan affiliate of the now defunct syndication package The Disney Afternoon. It also carried the now-defunct Sinclair-owned childrens' programming block KidsClick 7 days a week from July 1, 2017 until the block's end on March 31, 2019.