KPHO-TV originally signed on the air on December 4, 1949, as a CBS affiliate. In 1953, the CBS affiliation moved to KOOL-TV, in which KPHO remained a dual ABC/DuMont affiliate until 1955 when ABC moved to then-newly signed on KTVK and in 1956, DuMont ceased operations, making KPHO an independent station.
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On September 12, 1994, the CBS affiliation returned back to KPHO-TV, where the former independent station moved to former ABC affiliate KTVK (channel 3) for Arizona's market as part of a group affiliation deal with New World Communications who purchased twelve stations (including KSAZ-TV).