KXAN News signed on the air on February 12, 1965. At that time, it was known as KHFI-TV Channel 42 and was owned by Southwest Republic Corporation; a division of the Featherlite Company. The primary partners were John Kingsbury and his father, E.G. Kingsbury of Austin. The company also owned KHFI-AM/FM.
The AM station was sold in the early 1970s and the call letters were changed to KTAP. Then, KTAP was sold and became KIXL which still operates in Austin. KHFI-FM was sold to the same group in 1980.
In early 1973, a deal was made between the Kingsbury family and Henry Tippie, who bought the station. The call letters and frequency were then changed to KTVV-TV, Channel 36. The new owner, Kingstip Communications Inc., increased the power of our transmitter to five million watts.
In 1979, Kingstip agreed to sell the station to LIN Broadcasting Corp. of New York.
The station ownership was transferred on May 2, 1979. The letters L-I-N stand for Louisville, Indianapolis and Nashville, the three locations where the company originally owned radio stations. On October 15, 1987, the call letters were changed to KXAN-TV, Channel 36.