On April 14, 1952, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ended the "Freeze of '48," a countrywide stop to restructure TV airwaves. VHF channel 3 was allotted to the Kirksville, Missouri area. North Missouri Broadcasting Partners, a company led by former U.S. Congressman Sam "Wat" Arnold and Sam Burk, owners of Kirksville radio station KIRX, had previously been considering the possibilities of adding a television station to their operations, were drawn to this prime channel. In order to offset the expenses and risks of the new endeavor, the Kirksville group joined forces with another led by James J. Conroy, owner of KBIZ in Ottumwa, Iowa, in early 1953. In exchange for KBIZ stock, the Kirksville group agreed to build a tower and transmitter location whose signal would encompass both Kirksville and Ottumwa. A 1,100-foot (340-meter) tower was erected in Downing, Missouri, after receiving FCC clearance.