Originally signed on the air on October 4, 1953 as KGGM-TV, owned by the Hebenstreit family's New Mexico Broadcasting Company along with KGGM radio (610 AM, now KNML).
KBIM signed on as a Roswell-based satellite of KGGM-TV in February 1966.
After having sold off KGGM radio in 1973, the Hebenstreits sold 42% of KGGM-TV to Lee Enterprises in 1985. The New Mexico Broadcasting Company acquired semi-satellite KBIM-TV in Roswell, which had until that time operated independently as a CBS affiliate, for $5 million in 1989. The purchase created financial strains on the Hebenstreits, who opted to sell their remaining shares to Lee in 1991.
Citing the station's perceived reputation as a perennial third-place news outlet, Lee changed the call letters—at Andrew Hebenstreit's suggestion—to KRQE on September 7, 1992. However, the name "New Mexico Broadcasting Company" continued on the station's license well into the 21st century.
Lee would eventually exit broadcasting and sold KRQE, along with most of the rest of its group, to Emmis Communications in 2000.
This logo has been used by the station since 2000, undergoing changes only to its treatement since.
On March 21, 2014, it was announced that Media General would acquire LIN. The merger was completed on December 19. Just over a year later, on January 27, 2016, it was announced that the Nexstar Broadcasting Group would buy Media General for $4.6 billion. After selling KASA to Ramar Communications, KRQE became part of "Nexstar Media Group." The sale was completed on January 17, 2017.
Eventually the colors were made flat, and the CBS eye was added for the first time since 2000.
1Nexstar operates these stations owned by Mission Broadcasting. 2Nexstar operates this station owned by Cunningham Broadcasting. 3Nexstar operates this station owned by White Knight Broadcasting through an SSA. 4Nexstar operates this station owned by Vaughan Media. 5Predecessor company of LIN Media. 6Currently a repeater for WWLP. 7Joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery in which Nexstar owns 31% while Warner Bros. Discovery owns the remaining 69%.