About WCCO TVThe origins of WCCO-TV may be traced back to a radio station, although not the one with which it is currently connected. The ancestry of WCCO-TV may be traced back to radio station WRHM, which first broadcast in 1925. In 1934, the Minneapolis Tribune and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch created a joint company called "Twin Cities Newspapers," which bought the radio station and renamed it WTCN. Twin Cities Newspapers later expanded into the fledgling FM band with WTCN-FM, and then into the then-new medium of television with the July 1, 1949 launch of WTCN-TV, becoming Minnesota's second television station, broadcasting from the Radio City Theater at 50 South 9th Street in downtown Minneapolis. In 1949, Robert Ridder was named president of WCCO-TV. Since its inception, Channel 4 has been a key CBS affiliate. It did, however, have a secondary affiliation with ABC from 1949 to 1953, until a new station with the WTCN-TV calls (now known as KARE-TV) picked up the ABC affiliation and kept it from its 1953 sign on until 1961, when it became an independent station; it has been associated with NBC since 1979.
Twin Cities Newspapers divested its broadcast interests in 1952, with channel 4 going to the Murphy and McNally families, who had previously purchased WCCO (830 AM) from CBS. Midwest Radio and Television was formed from the merger of the stations, with CBS as a minority partner. On August 17, station 4's call signs were changed to WCCO-TV to match its new radio sibling (the WTCN-TV call sign appeared again in the market the following year on the new channel 11). To comply with Federal Communications Commission ownership limitations at the time, CBS was obliged to sell its minority holding in the WCCO stations in 1954.