Channel 30 went on the air on June 8, 1969, as the first UHF television station in the St. Louis area in almost a decade. Though the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted its construction permit in 1966 to a group of local investors under the banner Greater Saint Louis Television Corporation, the station was signed-on under the ownership of Evans Broadcasting, a New York City-based company that acquired the permit in 1968. KDNL-TV first aired business news, religious shows, rejected network series from NBC station KSD-TV (channel 5, now KSDK) and then-ABC outlet KTVI (channel 2), and old movies. By 1976, the station's programming had become more typical of the era's independent stations, with cartoons, westerns, sitcoms, religious shows in the early mornings, and movies in primetime and late nights. In 1976, KDNL began broadcasting St. Louis Blues hockey games, which lasted five seasons.