About KTSM NBC9The station first signed on the air on January 4, 1953. KTSM-TV was the second television station in the El Paso TV market, behind KROD-TV (channel 4, now KDBC-TV), which debuted in December 1952. KTSM-TV was owned by Tri-State Broadcasting, a nod to the U.S. states of Texas and New Mexico and the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Channel 9 was co-owned with KTSM radio (then on 1380 AM, now at 690 AM) and 99.9 KTSM-FM. (The two radio stations are both now owned by iHeartMedia.)
The call sign stood for the company's original name, "Tri-State Music." The meaning has since changed to Tri-State Media. KTSM-TV claimed its broadcast tower at Ranger Peak, located within the Franklin Mountains, was the tallest VHF transmission tower in Texas, standing at 2,000 feet (610 m) above downtown El Paso, and 5,990 feet (1,830 m) above sea level.