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CBS had originally planned to sell WCAU to NBC as part of its plan to move its affiliation to KYW-TV, but discovered that an outright sale would incur heavy capital gains taxes and proceeds from the deal.To make the transaction a legal trade, the network swapped ownership of KCNC-TV and required in a deal was KUTV in Salt Lake City (which NBC had acquired earlier that year), along with the VHF channel 4 frequency and transmitter in Miami (then home to WTVJ) to CBS in exchange for WCAU and the channel 6 frequency in Miami (then home to WCIX, which subsequently became WFOR-TV).It originally operated from studio facilities located in a converted former car dealership at 1089 Bannock Street in Denver's Civic Center neighborhood.

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KUSA and KTVD were retained by the latter company, named TEGNA.

In April 2005, KUSA began carrying NBC Weather Plus on its second digital subchannel (branded as "9NEWS Weather Plus").

The KBTV call letters are now at Beaumont, Texas' Fox-affiliated TV station.

In July 1994, CBS and Westinghouse Broadcasting (Group W) agreed to a long-term affiliation deal that saw longtime ABC affiliate WJZ-TV in Baltimore and longtime NBC affiliates KYW-TV in Philadelphia and WBZ-TV in Boston become CBS affiliates.

Mc Graw-Hill, then-owner of outgoing CBS affiliate KMGH, entered into an affiliation agreement with ABC at the same time. Gannett then signed a multi-station affiliation agreement with NBC that included KUSA.

This resulted in all three of Denver's "Big Three" stations swapping affiliations at a.m.

The station first signed on the air on October 12, 1952 as KBTV; it was the second television station to sign on in the Denver market—after KFEL-TV (channel 2, now KWGN-TV), which signed on just over three months earlier on July 18.

Founded by Mullins Broadcasting, the station initially served as a primary affiliate of CBS, but also carried programs from ABC and NBC through secondary affiliations with both networks.

Scenes for the NBC made-for-TV movie Asteroid were shot at the KUSA studios, the producers filmed the fictional news reports seen in the movie out of the station's 1996–2004 news set.

In August 2007, KUSA began the "9NEWS High School Hotshots Program", which awarded one of twelve student athletes from Colorado's high schools nominated for their academic excellence, selected by the school's administration and staff that recorded their high school football games; the program has since extended to cover winter sports at the schools.

The station lost the Du Mont affiliation when the network shut down on August 6, 1956, which left the station as an exclusive ABC affiliate.

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