KOB-TV Channel 4, New Mexico's first television station, initially began as the mere vision of Tom Pepperday, owner of KOB Radio. 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 in New Mexico and just the third on the air 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.
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.
Hubbard Broadcasting sold the radio stations in 1986, and the new owners added a "K" to the call letters KKOB-AM and KKOB-FM.
In 2002, KOB became the first commercial broadcaster in New Mexico to provide digital television, including high-definition television broadcasts of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
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. KOB also multicasts THIS TV on channel 4-2 and COMET TV on channel 4-3.