The station first signed on the air on September 16, 1961, originally operating as an ABC affiliate on UHF channel 32. It originally operated from studio facilities located on Park Drive in the suburb of Shively, and was owned by Kentuckiana Television, a group of local investors headed by aluminum magnate Archibald Cochran.
From 1977 to 1986, WLKY was branded on-air as "32 Alive." At the time it was implemented, Combined Communications used the "Alive" moniker on four of its stations—WLKY, WPTA, KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City and WXIA-TV in Atlanta. The Gannett Company acquired Combined for $370 million on June 7, 1979, only four years later for Gannett to sell channel 32 to Pulitzer Publishing after the former's acquisition of WLVI in Boston. Pulitzer kept channel 32, but sold WPTA to the Granite Broadcasting Corporation.
"Together" ID (1986–1987)
On September 8, 1990, WLKY swapped network affiliations with WHAS-TV, becoming a CBS affiliate. At the time of the switch, ABC was the second-most-watched network in the country (after NBC), and the network was concerned with WLKY's ratings; CBS was at a distant third during the midway-point of president Laurence Tisch's helming of the network. Hearst-Argyle Television acquired Pulitzer's entire broadcasting division for $1.8 billion in 1998.
Station ID (2001)
The "32" in the logo was replaced with the CBS eye in 2016.