The station first signed on the air on October 31, 1948 as WNBK, broadcasting on VHF channel 4. It was the second television station in Cleveland to debut, ten months after WEWS-TV (channel 5), and was the fourth of NBC's five original owned-and-operated stations to sign on, three weeks after WNBQ (now WMAQ-TV) in Chicago. WNBK was a sister station to WTAM radio (1100 AM), which was owned by NBC since 1930. Although there was no coaxial cable connection to New York City, AT&T had just installed a cable connection between WNBK, WNBQ, WSPD-TV (now WTVG) in Toledo, KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minnesota and KSD-TV (now KSDK) in St. Louis, creating NBC's Midwest Network. WNBK became one of the originators of programming for the regional network, along with WNBQ. Two days after signing on, on November 2, WNBK transmitted its coverage of the Truman/Dewey election results to the NBC Midwest Network. On January 11, 1949, WNBK began carrying NBC's New York-originated programming live via a cable connection to Philadelphia.