About KGSNKGNS originally went on air January 7, 1956 as KHAD-TV, it has been a primary NBC affiliate since its sign on, but the station initially held secondary affiliations with CBS and ABC. CBS programming moved to KVTV in December 1973 and ABC programming moved to present-day Univision affiliate KLDO-TV in December 1984, effectively making KGNS an exclusive NBC affiliate.
Donrey Media Group (now Stephens Media Group) bought the station on September 1, 1958. One of its first moves under Donrey ownership was to change the station's call letters, Donrey management held a contest in which elementary and middle school students from both the United States and Mexico sides of the Rio Grande region to choose a new callsign; the winning entry resulted in the station changing its callsign to the current KGNS-TV (standing for "Good Neighbor Station").
In 1985, KGNS was purchased by Century Development Corporation. In 1990 the station began a Spanish language newscast.