The station went on the air as KLRJ-TV on VHF channel 2 on January 23, 1955; it was originally licensed to Henderson and was owned by Southwestern Publishing Company along with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KORK radio (920 AM, now KRLV; and 97.1 FM, now KXPT). In September 1955, it changed its calls to KORK-TV to match its radio sisters, and soon after moved its city of license and studio facilities to Las Vegas.
In 1960, the Donrey Media Group (founder of Reno-based KOLO-TV (VHF channel 8), later Stephens Media) bought the Review-Journal and the KORK stations along with KOLO radio (AM 920, now KIHM).
In 1967, KORK-TV moved to channel 3 in order to operate from Potosi Mountain without being short-spaced to KNXT (now KCBS-TV) in Los Angeles, which also operated on channel 2; this move would also allow KTVN in Reno to begin operations on channel 2 on June 4 of that year.
In 1971, a group of local residents led by Las Vegas attorney Jim Rogers began an effort to take control of channel 3. Rogers' group gained more support when Donrey began to heavily preempt NBC programming in order to sell more local advertising in the late 1970s. NBC was far less tolerant of programming preemptions than the other networks at the time. The most notable of these preemptions was the 1978 World Series, angering both NBC and several Las Vegas area viewers, some of whom filed complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Facing pressure from both NBC and the FCC, Donrey was forced to sell the station to the Rogers group's holding company, Valley Broadcasting Company, in 1979. Donrey retained KORK radio and as a result on October 1, 1979, the TV station changed its call letters to KVBC, reflecting the new ownership (the change was made due to a now-repealed FCC rule that forbade TV and radio stations in the same market, but with different ownership from sharing the same call letters). This logo was shared with then-NBC owned-and-operated station WKYC-TV in Cleveland.
This logo is similar to the one used by CBS affiliate WFSB in Hartford/New Haven, CT.
The "-DT" callsign was added in 2009 alongside its then-sister stations.
On June 18, 2010, KVBC filed an application with the FCC to change the station's call letters to KSNV-DT, reflecting the renaming of Valley Broadcasting Company (which by this time, was a subsidiary of Sunbelt Communications Company that held the station's license) to Southern Nevada Communications, as well as better reflecting the station's relationship with sister stations KRNV-DT in Reno and KENV-DT in Elko. The change to KSNV-DT became official on July 9, 2010. On September 3, 2014, Intermountain West Communications announced that it would sell KSNV-DT to the Sinclair Broadcast Group for $120 million. As Sinclair already owned a duopoly in Las Vegas, KVMY (UHF channel 21, now KHSV) and KVCW (UHF channel 33), the company planned to sell the license assets (though not the programming) of one of the three stations to comply with FCC ownership restrictions, with the divested station's programming being moved to the other stations. 80–85% of proceeds from the sale will go toward the formation of the Rogers Educational Foundation, which will support students and educators in Southern Nevada.
This logo replaces the signature logo that was used starting in 1986; the typeface was changed to ITC Avant Garde Gothic. Although this logo reads as NBC 3 News, its on-air branding is still Channel 3 for entertainment programming and News 3 for newscasts.
1Owned by Tennessee Broadcasting and operated by Sinclair under an outsourcing agreement. 2Nominally owned by Cunningham Broadcasting and operated by Sinclair under an LMA. However, trusts belonging to members of Sinclair's founding Smith family control almost all of Cunningham's stock. 3Operated by Nexstar Media Group under an LMA. 4Owned by Second Generation of Iowa, Ltd. and operated by Sinclair under a LMA. 5Owned by Manhan Media and managed by Sinclair. 6Owned by Howard Stirk Holdings, operated by Sinclair under an LMA. 7Owned by Mercury Broadcasting Company and operated by Sinclair. 8Owned by Deerfield Media and operated by Sinclair under an LMA. 9Owned by Roberts Media, but operated by Sinclair. 10Owned by Mitts Telecasting and operated by Sinclair. 11Owned by GOCOM Media and operated by Sinclair. 12Owned by Waitt Broadcasting, but operated by Sinclair under an SSA. 13Owned by Granite Broadcasting Corporation and operated by Sinclair through a JSA and SSA. 14Owned by New Age Media and operated by Sinclair under an MSA. 15Owned by MPS Media, but operated by New Age Media under an LMA. 16Owned by Diamond Sports Group, a joint venture of Sinclair and Entertainment Studios. 17Co-owned with Yankee Global Enterprises, The Blackstone Group, Amazon, RedBird Capital and Mubadala Investment Company. 18Co-owned with Chicago Cubs. 19Owned by Sinclair and operated by Jukin Media. 20Owned by Palm Television, L.P. and operated by Cunningham Broadcasting under an LMA.