KEYE-TV signed on the air on channel 42 on December 4, 1983 as KBVO-TV; the call letters came from the University of Texas at Austin's mascot, Bevo. It was Austin's first independent station. The station was originally owned by Steve Beard, an Austin advertising executive, and a small group of investors. On October 6, 1986, the station became a charter affiliate of the upstart Fox network and began branding itself as "Fox 42" on-air in the late 1980s. In 1993, Beard sold KBVO to Granite Broadcasting for $54 million—a handsome return on his original investment.