The station began operation on September 15, 1986 as independent station WTWS. It was owned by R & R Media and ran a low-budget general entertainment format. In 1988, the station took over some programming from WHCT-TV (channel 18, now WUVN) as a result of that station's financial problems.
In 1990, the station also began to acquire programming that WTXX (channel 20, now WCCT-TV) chose not to renew. It also offered to pick up WTXX's programming inventory in 1992, but WTXX's owner (Renaissance Broadcasting) declined.
The station had added more infomercials to its lineup by 1993. Two years later, it was sold to Paxson Communications (predecssor to Ion Media Networks), and switched to Paxson's standard schedule of religious programming in the morning, infomercials in the afternoon and evenings, and worship programming overnight after affiliating with inTV. The rights to its programming were acquired by LIN Television, which placed those shows on WTVU (channel 59, now WCTX).
Paxson then began programming WHCT in 1997, and sold WTWS to Roberts Broadcasting. Roberts, in turn, sold the station to DP Media the following year. However, DP Media was owned by – and named for – Devon Paxson, son of Paxson Communications founder Bud Paxson. Paxson then cut its ties with WHCT and took control of WTWS. The station then affiliated with Pax TV (the predecessor to Ion Television) that year, and changed its call letters to WHPX-TV to reflect its affiliation. Paxson bought DP Media in 2000.
WHPX-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 26, on February 17, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television (which was later changed to June 12, 2009) The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 34 to former analog channel 26.