When KMBC-TV signed on the air as a CBS affiliate on August 2, 1953, the station operated as a shared service as two stations due to the FCC having awarded the channel 9 license in Kansas City to Cook Paint and Varnish Company (which operated WHB radio) and the Midland Broadcasting Company (owners of KMBC radio, now KMBZ), alternating 90 minutes of airtime and using the same channel allocation and transmitter, but broadcasting from separate studios. Cook Paint and Varnish purchased Midland in April 1954, ending the split-station arrangement, with KMBC-TV taking over the channel 9 frequency full-time on June 14 of that year.
KMBC became an ABC affiliate on September 28, 1955, switching affiliations with KCMO-TV (now KCTV).
Cook Paint and Varnish sold the KMBC stations to Metropolitan Broadcasting (later Metromedia) in 1961.
Metromedia sold KMBC to its current parent company Hearst Corporation in 1982. As a result, the "9" logo was revamped into the current "circle 9" (which is a flipped version of the logo that was used by WRGB from 1981 to 1998). A year later, the station adopted its current newscast title KMBC 9 News.
KMBC began using the slogan "Where the News Comes First" in 1986, which remained in use for the next thirteen years.
KMBC's "Where the News Comes First" slogan lasted until late 1999. After which, the slogan became "Coverage You Can Count On", which remains to this day.
Current variation of the logo; the BankGothic typeface has been changed to Helvetica.