The station debuted on October 1, 1953, becoming the Springfield market's second television station; the first was CBS affiliate KTTS-TV (channel 10, now KOLR), which debuted in March of that year. KYTV, founded by the Cox and Duvall families, was also the first television station established expressly for television production west of the Mississippi River. Channel 3 has been an NBC affiliate from its inception, however it shared a secondary ABC affiliation with KTTS until 1968, when KMTC (channel 27, now MyNetworkTV station KOZL-TV) signed on. On December 26, 1953, KYTV debuted a television broadcast of Ozark Jubilee, a live country music program that originated on radio station KWTO (560 AM); ABC began telecasting the program nationally on January 22, 1955, although it temporarily originated from Columbia until it moved to the Jewell Theatre on April 30, 1955, using KYTV's staff and equipment. The crew and facilities of the station also played important roles in the development of two additional programs that aired on ABC throughout the 1950s, Talent Varieties and The Eddy Arnold Show.