Channel 5 informally signed on the air as WBAP-TV on September 27, 1948, to broadcast coverage of President Harry S. Truman's re-election campaign speech at the Texas & Pacific terminal building in downtown Fort Worth. WBAP-TV officially commenced regular programming two days later on September 29, 1948, with two 10-minute specials at 7:00 p.m. that evening, respectively featuring speeches from Carter and general manager Harold Hough and a film from NBC dedicating the station's launch. Carter owned the television and radioproperties through the Star-Telegram's corporate parent, Carter Publications. It was the first television station to sign on in the state of Texas. Originally serving as an affiliate, Channel 5 has carried programming from NBC since its sign-on—having inherited the affiliation through WBAP radio's longtime relationship with the television network's radio predecessor, the Blue Network (predecessor to ABC), with which it had been affiliated since 1927.
On August 17, 1953, WBAP-TV launched a new look.
This stylized "Star 5" logo has been used in some form since 1971, and has been used by WBAP-TV/KXAS-TV since 1971 (with an italicized version used since 1998). It has survived a callsign change, and two changes in ownership.
In February 1992, the "Star 5" began to be accompanied by a red, white and blue background based on the Texas state flag.
NBC acquired majority control (76%) of KXAS from LIN in October 1997, which in turn NBC sold a 24% ownership interest in KNSD to LIN. The deal closed on March 2, 1998, marking the official launch of the new NBC/LIN joint venture known as Station Venture Operations, LP (which was controlled by NBC).