KERO-TV went on the air on September 26, 1953 as a primary NBC affiliate on channel 10. It was originally owned by Kern Country Broadcasters along with KERO radio (1230 AM, now KGEO). In 1955 both stations were broken up after KERO radio was sold. In 1957, Wrather-Alvarez Broadcasting, owner of KFMB-AM-TV in San Diego purchased KERO. In 1956, Wrather-Alvarez was broke up into two when Wrather kept KERO-TV and the San Diego stations into a newly renamed company known as Marietta Broadcasting. In 1959, Marietta merged with the Transcontinent Television Corporation.
In 1963, KERO moved to channel 23 due to Bakersfield being a UHF-only market. In 1964, Time-Life (later known as Time Inc.) purchased KERO. McGraw-Hill purchased Time-Life's broadcasting unit in 1972.
KERO-TV introduced its Helvetica Black "23" in 1982 when it was still a NBC affiliate. In 1984, KERO-TV became a CBS affiliate when KPWR-TV (channel 17) decided to affiliate with NBC and renamed itself to KGET-TV.
Station identification used during CBS Mini-Series sometime in 1988.
KERO-TV would become a ABC affiliate in 1996, becoming one of the last stations owned by McGraw-Hill to switch to that network. CBS would move back to KBAK-TV.