The station first signed on in 1997 as WQHB, a primary UPN affiliate with a secondary WB affiliation. The WB primetime programming was shown on a one-day delay from 6-8pm. At this time the station's primary transmitter was located in Sumter, and as such, it set up a translator on W67DP, channel 67 in Columbia.
In 2003, the station swapped affiliations and became a WB primary/UPN secondary affiliate; UPN programming was shown at 10:00 pm nightly after WB's primetime programming. It changed its call letters as well to WBHQ (a reversal of its original calls, but also standing for WB HeadQuarters) and moved its transmitter to space on WOLO's tower in Elgin. This gave it an over-the-air coverage area comparable to the other major Columbia stations, enabling it to shut down the channel 67 translator. It rebranded itself as "Midland's WB4" (a reference to its cable channel). During this period, it moved to its current studios in Elgin. In August 2004, WBHQ dropped UPN programming.
On January 24, 2006, it was announced that The WB and UPN would merge into a new network called The CW in September 2006. On March 25, it was announced that WBHQ would become the Columbia affiliate of MyNetworkTV, a new network from News Corporation.
On June 26, 2006, WBHQ changed its call letters to WKTC: it started using them two days later, on June 28. An advertisement in this date's Free Times newspaper in Columbia depicts the stars of "Desire" and says "September 5 / It's a whole new ballgame", with the stylized "My 63" logo and the new call letters. According to the station's co-owner, WKTC stands for "Television of Columbia".
In August 2007, W67DP separated from WKTC to become a Telemundo affiliate for Columbia, using the calls "WNXG".
In late August, WKTC launched its full-power digital signal on channel 39.
WKTC's owner also started a low-power station in Wilmington, North Carolina, WMYW, which serves as Wilmington's MyNetworkTV affiliate, and a low-power station in Savannah, Georgia, WHDS-LP, that serves as a Telemundo affiliate.