It was far more successful than the station ever had been as an ABC affiliate.It became a regional superstation, available on nearly every cable system in Minnesota as well as large portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.However, the station did not remain a Fox affiliate for long.
National Telefilm Associates, which later purchased WNTA-TV in the New York City area, purchased the 75 percent of United Television not owned by MGM for $650,000 in November 1957, joining it to the NTA Film Network until it ended in 1961.
The KMSP call letters were featured on prop television cameras in the May 29, 1963 episode of the CBS sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, produced by 20th Century Fox Television; the show was loosely set in the Twin Cities area.
Over time, it became one of the most successful and profitable independent stations in the country.
KMSP went through another ownership change on June 9, 1981, when 20th Century-Fox spun off United Television as an independent company owned by Fox shareholders; the transaction was approved alongside the $700 million sale of 20th Century-Fox to Marvin Davis.
In retaliation for losing ABC, KMSP-TV immediately removed all ABC branding and regularly preempted network programming.
Channel 9 then attempted to affiliate with NBC, thinking The Tonight Show would be a good lead-out from their 10 p.m. As a result of being rejected by both ABC and NBC, KMSP-TV prepared to become an independent station.
with much of the station's programming having been acquired from WTCN-TV.
To emphasize that the station's programming decisions would be influenced by viewers instead of a network, KMSP rebranded itself as "Receptive Channel 9", and an antenna was shown atop the station's logo in station identifications.
The station became quite aggressive in acquiring programming, obtaining broadcast rights to several state high school sports championships from the MSHSL, the NHL's Minnesota North Stars and the Minnesota Twins baseball team.