WGEM-TV's license was originally granted to Quincy Broadcasting Co., owned by the Quincy Herald-Whig; it was allotted channel 10. The station was affiliated with NBC and ABC from the start, while being represented by Walker Representation Co. Quincy Broadcasting's president at the time was T. C. Oakley; Joe Bonansinga was the station's founding general manager. The station received their DuMont transmitters on the same truck as nearby KHQA-TV (channel 7) on July 27, 1953. The crews competed to see who could get on the air first. WGEM began interim broadcasting two hours per night on September 4, 1953.