KSBW began broadcasting on September 11, 1953. It shared the VHF channel 8 frequency with KMBY-TV of Monterey until the two stations merged in 1955 under KSBW's license and call letters.
In 1957, KSBW's original owners bought KVEC-TV in San Luis Obispo, California and changed the calls to KSBY. For the next 22 years, KSBY simulcasted KSBW, except for producing its own local newscasts and covering CBS programming. In San Luis Obispo, KCOY-TV provided CBS programming from adjacent Santa Maria, requiring KSBY to drop the feed from Salinas when KSBW was carrying a CBS network program. The simulcasting ended when Blair Broadcasting bought the two stations in 1979 and KSBY became a free-standing station.
On November 12, 1986, Blair Broadcasting sold most of its English-language stations to Gillett Communications (which would later acquire most of Storer Broadcasting's stations).
This logo was also used by WGHP in Winston–Salem/Greensboro/High Point.
Gillett Holdings, a subsidiary of Vail Associates at that time, owned just the two stations, along with nearby station KSBY, two ski resorts, and a packing company. Gillett later filed for bankruptcy on August 17, 1992, after the ski area and its media company was due to emerge from bankruptcy. Gillett restructured into SCI TV and put KSBW and KSBY on the market. However, a buyer for both stations was not found until after SCI sold most of its stations to New World Communications in 1993. The following year, KSBW and KSBY were sold to EP Communications, a company co-owned by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch.
In 1995, Smith Broadcasting and SJL Communications teamed up to purchase the EP stations, with KSBW going to Smith Broadcasting and KSBY going to SJL because Smith Broadcasting already owned KEYT. At the time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not allow common ownership of two stations in the same market. What was then called Hearst-Argyle Television bought KSBW, along with WPTZ in Plattsburgh, New York, and its semi-satellite WNNE in White River Junction, Vermont, from Sunrise Television (at that time a subsidiary of Smith Broadcasting) in 1998, swapping WDTN in Dayton, Ohio, and the license for WNAC-TV in Providence, Rhode Island; both stations were required to be divested by Hearst due to since-repealed FCC restrictions on ownership of stations with overlapping city-grade signals.
As a part of ABC affilation debut on their subchannel, the logo were refurbised with "8" are now on a television screen. KSBW-DT2 and its ABC affiliation launched on April 18, 2011, branding as "Central Coast ABC" This marks a return of the ABC affiliation to the immediate Monterey Bay market in 51 years after KSBW dropped the secondary affiliation. Before KSBW-DT2's launch, ABC formerly served the area by San Jose-based KNTV for four decades before it was replaced by a cable-only feed of San Francisco-based KGO-TV in 2000.