About WBAY 2WBAY-TV first signed on the air on March 17, 1953 as the second television station in Wisconsin, after WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee. It was originally owned by the Norbertine Order of Priests, whose abbey is in nearby De Pere. The priests run St. Norbert College in De Pere, and already operated WBAY radio (1360 AM, now WTAQ) in Green Bay and WHBY radio in Appleton. Like WTMJ when that station started in 1947, as the only station in the market, WBAY originally carried programming from all four networks of the day – channel 2 was a primary CBS affiliate with secondary affiliations with NBC, ABC and DuMont.
NBC moved to Marinette's WMBV-TV (channel 11, now WLUK-TV) when it signed on in 1954, with WNAM-TV (channel 42, now WFRV-TV Channel 5) from Neenah taking the ABC affiliation upon its 1955 debut. With the shutdown of DuMont in 1956, WBAY was left as an exclusive CBS affiliate, and remained the only station licensed to Green Bay proper until the 1959 relocation of WLUK to the city. Channel 2 upgraded its transmitter and began broadcasting network programming in color around 1959; locally produced programs were broadcast in color starting in 1966.