KOLN-TV debuted on channel 12 on February 18, 1953, as Nebraska's third television station and the first outside of Omaha. Cornhusker Radio and Television Corporation, along with KOLN radio, owned it (1400 AM; now KLIN). John Fetzer, a broadcasting pioneer, bought it in August 1953. Fetzer acquired Lincoln's other TV station, KFOR-TV, channel 10, in February 1954, a few months after KOLN. To avoid violating FCC ownership rules (and creating a commercial broadcast monopoly for himself in the Lincoln area), Fetzer relocated KOLN to channel 10 and gave the channel 12 facilities and the KFOR license to the University of Nebraska for use as an educational station, KUON-TV. Simultaneously, Fetzer gained FCC approval to increase KOLN's visible effective radiated power to the then-maximum 316 kW, which would be transmitted from a new 1,000-foot (300-meter) tower 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Lincoln. (At the time of sign-on, KOLN was transmitting at 26.9 kW visual ERP from a 407-foot (124-meter) tower adjacent to its studio.