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However, they withdrew their applications in 1954, assuring that the new station would go to KEYD and its owner, Family Broadcasting.

Reasoner became a host for CBS's 60 Minutes when it launched in 1968.

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In early 1978, to cash in on ABC's improved ratings, KMSP re-branded itself "ABC9" (approximately 20 years before the use of a network's name in a station's on-air branding became commonplace among U. The signing of channel 5 made nationwide news, as it had been an NBC affiliate for three decades.

KSTP-TV looked forward to affiliating with the top network, as third-place NBC had been in a long ratings slump.

That January, channel 9 dropped Fox's Saturday night lineup; By the early 1990s, Fox had exploded in popularity; it had begun carrying strong shows that were starting to rival the program offerings of the "Big Three" networks, and had just picked up the broadcast rights to the NFL's National Football Conference. (with the two-hour premiere of Star Trek: Voyager), with channel 9 becoming a UPN owned-and-operated station due to Chris-Craft/United's ownership stake in the network—making it the second network-owned station in the Twin Cities (alongside CBS-owned WCCO-TV).

In response to this, in October 1993, Chris-Craft/United Television partnered with Paramount Pictures (which was acquired by Viacom in 1994) to form the United Paramount Network (UPN) and both companies made independent stations that both companies respectively owned in several large and mid-sized U. Over time, KMSP became one of UPN's most successful affiliates in terms of viewership.

This suited channel 9, as it wanted the prestige of being a network affiliate without being tied down to a network-dominated program schedule; at the time, Fox only programmed a nightly talk show and, starting in 1987, two nights of prime time programming; the network would start its full-week programming schedule in 1993.

For its first few years with Fox, the station served as the de facto Fox affiliate for nearly all of Minnesota and South Dakota.

Although it now faced having to buy an additional 19 hours of programming per day, it also would not have to invest nearly as much into its news department.

Most of the on-air and off-air staffers resigned, not wanting to work for a down-scaled independent operation.

It was far more successful than the station ever had been as an ABC affiliate.

It became a regional superstation, available on nearly every cable system in Minnesota as well as large portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

In retaliation for losing ABC, KMSP-TV immediately removed all ABC branding and regularly preempted network programming.