The station signed on March 1, 1953 as WFBG-TV. The call letters came from the initials of the station's founder, William F. B. Gable, owner of Gable's Department Store in Altoona. Gable also owned WFBG radio (1290 AM and 98.1 FM, now WFGY). In the station's early days, all programs were produced and transmitted live from the studios on Wopsononock Mountain in Altoona; the WFBG stations moved in 1959 to a new studio facility on 6th Avenue, where channel 10 continues to operate from today. Channel 10 was one of the strongest stations in the entire country, utilizing over 300,000 watts to serve its coverage area (most of which is a very rugged dissected plateau). The station could be seen as far west as Pittsburgh and as far east as State College.