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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.

KMSP-TV is owned by the Fox Television Stations division of 21st Century Fox, and operates as part of a television duopoly with WFTC (channel 29), the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area's My Network TV owned-and-operated station.Accordingly, the network sought to upgrade its slate of affiliates, which were made up of some stations that either had poor signals or poorly performing local programming.In December 1977, ABC warned KMSP that it would yank its affiliation unless improvements were made and fast. Despite the changes, KMSP's news department remained a distant third behind WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV.Channel 9 changed its call letters to KMGM-TV on September 1, 1956; at the time, the station was in negotiations with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to acquire the Twin Cities television rights to the company's films, along with selling a 25 percent stake in KMGM-TV to the studio.The agreements to lease MGM's pre-1949 films and sell 25 percent of the station to Loew's were both completed that November; KMGM was the third station, after future sister station KTTV in Los Angeles and KTVR in Denver, to enter into such an arrangement.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.

The station grew out of an AM station, KEYD (1440 AM, now KYCR), with which it was co-owned until mid-1956.

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened up bidding for the channel 9 construction permit, WLOL and WDGY (now KTLK) also expressed interest.

The station became quite aggressive in acquiring programming, obtaining broadcast rights to several state high school sports championships from the MSHSL, the NHL's Minnesota North Stars and the Minnesota Twins baseball team.

As it turned out, KMSP's transition into an independent station turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

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.