Despite a major marketing campaign upon sign-on in 1987, the station was only moderately successful at pulling in viewers and advertising dollars. In 1988 attempts were made at locally-produced comedy shows; some have compared this programming to that of the fictional "U62" channel in the "Weird Al" Yankovic film UHF. Production manager Jim Mallon sought to fill a hole in the Sunday night lineup. He talked to his contacts in the local comedy community and ended up meeting Joel Hodgson. After a particularly successful lunch meeting with Mallon, Hodgson created Mystery Science Theater 3000 (typically abbreviated MST3K), which began airing in November 1988.
In December of that year, KTMA attempted to create a new regional network called the Minnesota Independent Network (MIN) along with a media group based in Fargo, North Dakota, and KXLI channel 41 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The network never got off the ground, despite good intentions. Eventually KXLI was forced to go off the air for two years. KTMA was also hit hard, leading O'Connor to file for bankruptcy in July 1989. Hodgson and Mallon eventually took their show (MST3K) to the Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central), a cable television network, and later to the Sci-Fi Channel.
In 1989 a small start up home shopping network rented the TV23 studios and dubuted their first broadcast on local low power stations Channels 7 & 62. This network was called Valuevision which later became ShopNBC which is now seen in over 60 million homes and has sales approaching $1 billion.
Through the bankruptcy, the station still maintained its regular programming format, partially supported with infomercials, paid religious shows and home shopping. It moved into the former offices and studios of local PBS station KTCA in St. Paul, Minnesota in December 1989 (KTCA had constructed a new building). After nearly two more years of bankruptcy proceedings, O'Connor was dismissed as general manager by the court-appointed trustee. In November 1991, the station was purchased by Christian broadcaster Lakeland Group Television.
Around this time, KLGT began an association with WCCO-TV At first, the station merely carried news updates during prime time, but in 1995, the two stations worked together on an innovative newscast known as "News of Your Choice." Essentially, two different newscasts were produced at the WCCO studios simultaneously, each one covering different stories. At regular intervals, the news anchors would say what was coming up on the other channel, allowing viewers to decide which story they were more interested in and to tune in to the appropriate channel. Due to declining ratings at WCCO at the time, the project was canceled after a year in January 1996. Also in 1995, KLGT joined the fledgling WB network as its Twin Cities affiliate.
The station was hit by the 2004 controversy surrounding the decision by corporate parent SBG to air the documentary Stolen Honor, which was critical of U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam War service record.
On January 24, 2006, it was announced that The WB and UPN networks would merge into The CW Television Network. It was very likely that KMWB would become the new network's Twin Cities affiliate, as News Corporation, parent company of Fox announced that all of its current UPN affiliates, including WFTC in the Twin Cities, would affiliate with My Network TV when both networks launched. Although Sinclair's later group deal with My Network TV involving several other stations around the country provided some doubt, on May 2 2006, Sinclair affiliated its remaining WB and UPN affiliates, including KMWB, with the CW.
On August 16, WUCW replaced the WB23 watermark with the CW Twin Cities watermark on its syndicated programs.
Ironically, despite three call letter changes, WUCW's licensee is still listed as "KLGT Licensee."
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