KOB-TV Channel 4, New Mexico's first television station, initially began as the mere vision of Tom Pepperday, owner of KOB Radio. (KOB-TV is no longer affiliated with the radio stations.) In 1943 Pepperday applied for and was denied a television license. He reapplied in 1948 and his persistence paid off. He was granted a license and in the process made history. KOB-TV became the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast.
On September 13, 1948 Pepperday and his staff launched KOB-TV onto the airwaves making it the first station to reach New Mexican viewers with news, weather and entertainment. At this time, programming was limited to three hours per day. By November of the same year, KOB-TV aired its first commercial telecast and its first remote telecast was also broadcast from the State Fair.KOB_historic
In May 1952 Time Life Incorporated and Wayne Coy, former FCC chairman, purchased KOB-TV from Pepperday. This was Time Life's first investment in television property. Under Time Life's ownership, KOB-TV developed local folklore shows such as "Enchanted Trails" and "Trailblazers".
Stanley E. Hubbard purchased the station in 1957. As owner of KSTP television and radio in St. Paul, Minnesota, Hubbard was already an experienced broadcaster. His decision to expand and develop quality television and radio to New Mexico led to growth in KOB-TV's programming.
During these early years, KOB-TV began offering viewers a 10 p.m. newscast and several live entertainment shows. Programs such as an early rendition of "Wheel of Fortune" with Hope Sanders and "Tonight Albuquerque" with Paul Britt, as well as live cooking, children and Spanish shows redefined television in New Mexico. By this time KOB-TV had evolved its programming to more than nine hours per day.
In 2002, KOB became the first commercial broadcaster in New Mexico to provide digital television broadcasts, including high-definition television broadcasts of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. KOB began multicasting Eyewitness News 4 Local Weather Station (previously NBC Weather Plus) on digital TV channel 4-2 in 2007. On June 12, 2009, KOB joined the rest of the nation in ending analog broadcasting and switching to digital-only service. KOB relaunched its digital channel 4-2 as part of the THIS TV network in February 2011.
Today, KOB continues its leadership role. The station remains the top news and weather source in New Mexico, bringing viewers complete statewide coverage with Eyewitness News 4. Satellite stations KOBF in Farmington and KOBR in Roswell provide additional news bureaus for the organization as well as allow for local commercial messages to corners of the state.