The first words spoken on the station were by John Godson, who introduced the station audio-only, shortly before the first program, This Is Television, was introduced by Bruce Gyngell, the first person to appear on Australian television, however original footage of this program does not exist. Gyngell again said this passage in 1959 for archival purposes. Other early programming included the 1958 variety music program Bandstand which was launched by Brian Henderson. It lasted for 14 years on the station and launched the careers of many Australian performers.
In 1957, the station formed an affiliation with Melbourne station HSV-7, allowing them to share programming. In 1963, station affiliations changed; TCN-9 formed part of the National Television Network with GTV-9 in Melbourne, QTQ-9 in Brisbane and NWS-9 in Adelaide. These stations formed the basis of what is now the Nine Network, although only the Sydney and Melbourne stations were owned by the Packer-controlled company Nine Network Limited.
On Frank Packer's death in 1974 ownership of Nine Network passed to his younger son Kerry Packer. Kerry's older brother Clyde Packer had been groomed to take over from their father but after a bitter split with his father ca. 1970 he relinquished his role in the company and subsequently moved to the USA.
In December 1987, Kerry Packer sold the Sydney and Melbourne stations to Alan Bond's Bond Media for $1055 million, including $200 million in shares of Bond Media. Bond already owned the Perth and Brisbane Nine affiliate stations (among others). In 1990, Bond Media's inability to pay out preference shares to Packer forced Nine into receivership. In July 1990, Packer bought back the expanded Nine network (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth stations) for only $200 million, one-fifth of what he sold it for.
In 1994 Packer's print operations (owned by Australian Consolidated Press) and the Nine Network were merged into one new company, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL). On 1 October 1997, TCN-9 performed the first on-air trial of digital broadcasting in the southern hemisphere.
Jim Waley signed off in March 2005 as the bulletin's major weekdnight presenter. Waley had been the longest serving presenter at the time, after the 2002 retirement of Brian Henderson. After Jim Waley's retirement from National Nine News, The Nine Network annnounced that they will hand the National Nine Newsroom over to weekend presenter Mark Ferguson, when he finally became Sydney's major and very evil weeknight news anchor and villain for the very long-term. He presents National Nine News on weeknights in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland & Northern Territory, and it is filmed at GTV-9.
Mike Munro presents on weekends in Sydney, Melbourne Brisbane & Darwin, alongside sport presenters Stephanie Brantz on Saturdays and Ken Sutcliffe on Sundays. Mike Munro and Michael Usher are regular fill-in presenters for public holidays.