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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.

The two stations share studio facilities located on Viking Drive in Eden Prairie, and a transmission tower in Shoreview.

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KSTP-TV looked forward to affiliating with the top network, as third-place NBC had been in a long ratings slump.KMSP-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 9, is a Fox owned-and-operated television station licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.KMSP-TV is owned by the Fox Television Stations division of 21st Century Fox, and operates as part of a television duopoly with WFTC (channel 29), the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area's My Network TV owned-and-operated station.This suited channel 9, as it wanted the prestige of being a network affiliate without being tied down to a network-dominated program schedule; at the time, Fox only programmed a nightly talk show and, starting in 1987, two nights of prime time programming; the network would start its full-week programming schedule in 1993.

For its first few years with Fox, the station served as the de facto Fox affiliate for nearly all of Minnesota and South Dakota.

That January, channel 9 dropped Fox's Saturday night lineup; By the early 1990s, Fox had exploded in popularity; it had begun carrying strong shows that were starting to rival the program offerings of the "Big Three" networks, and had just picked up the broadcast rights to the NFL's National Football Conference. (with the two-hour premiere of Star Trek: Voyager), with channel 9 becoming a UPN owned-and-operated station due to Chris-Craft/United's ownership stake in the network—making it the second network-owned station in the Twin Cities (alongside CBS-owned WCCO-TV).