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In late 1995, Westinghouse merged with CBS, making KPIX a CBS-owned station and bringing it into common ownership with KCBS radio.Prior to this, KPIX had been CBS' longest-tenured affiliate (a distinction that now belongs to Washington, D. KPIX was also one of two longtime CBS affiliates owned by Group W that became a CBS O&O, the other being KDKA-TV.KPIX signed on the air on December 22, 1948, the first television station in Northern California as well as the 49th in the United States.It was originally owned by Associated Broadcasters, owners of KSFO (560 AM).

Additionally, it was one of two VHF stations (along with Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV) that didn't have a historic three-letter callsign, the only one to have a "K" callsign west of the Mississippi River, and along with WJZ-TV in Baltimore (until 2008) was the only one without a sister radio station with matching callsigns.Initially, channel 5's signal was transmitted from a tower on top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill.It later moved to a shared transmitter tower with KGO-TV (channel 7) at the Sutro Mansion (which was located midway between Mount Sutro and Twin Peaks), and then to the Sutro Tower in 1973.After lengthy Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hearings, KSFO won the 740 frequency, but later decided to stay at 560 and concentrate its efforts on building a television station.It traded the 740 frequency to CBS in return for getting the CBS television affiliation for the Bay Area.

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