This station was signed on over UHF channel 53 in the 1970s by its original owner CBS Inc. as W53AA. It was one of multiple Television Broadcast Translators in New York City which operated at the upper end of the UHF band in order to provide reliable coverage to certain New York boroughs whose reception was ultimately compromised by construction of the World Trade Center. This translator station relayed the signal of WCBS-TV, which for decades prior and at that time operated over VHF channel 2.
Originally, most of the New York City television stations operated their main transmitters from the Empire State Building. However, reliable reception was ultimately compromised for some viewers once the majority of the World Trade Center was constructed, thus necessitating the use of the UHF translators. In response, nearly all of the TV stations, including WCBS-TV, relocated to the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1975. CBS, however, maintained an auxiliary transmitter back at Empire.
CBS eventually sold the station on July 15, 1987 to Accord Communications, Inc. Accord, who purchased W53AA as an investment and intended to sell it for a profit, improved the station by relocating its transmitter to the Empire State Building and increasing its transmitting power to 7.2 KW.
Accord sold W53AA on October 6, 1989 to Pan-Asian Communications, Inc. whose president was Andrew H. Ohm, a major figure in Korean media in the United States. Ohm established the Korea Broadcasting Corp. (KBC) over W53AA, the first Korean owned television station in the United States. The station's emphasis was on Asian language programming and broadcast throughout the New York metropolitan area.
On February 19, 1996, the call-sign was changed to WKOB-LP.
On June 1, 1998, WKOB filed a displacement application to move to channel 48 due to the impending WFUT operation on Channel 53.
In the late 1990s, programming was leased and consisted of religious programs and infomercials.
According to WKOB, in a filing to the FCC, the station had broadcast programming 24 hours a day under a time brokerage agreement with Paxson Communications LPTV, Inc. until August 31, 1999. The station then went silent because its time brokerage programming agreement expired. WKOB notified the FCC on September 17, 1999 that the station was back on the air with a “limited” amount of programming. WKOB-LP also stated that it had obtained locally-produced programming targeted to the needs of the Korean residents of New York City, and asserted that this specialized programming service supported an award of Class A status, which it was ultimately denied.
WRNN-TV strongly objected to any operation that could interfere with channel 48, as they had been assigned this channel for their Kingston, NY. operation. In fact, WRNN-TV's owners took the unusual step to back up their opposition by monitoring WKOB-LP for 39 days between April 28 and August 22, 2000. They hired a Korean language interpreter, and based upon the transcripts provided by that interpreter, and their visual review of the programming, they determined the majority of the programs observed were religious services conducted in churches located in Korea. In its August 10, 2001 reply to WRNN-TV’s opposition, WKOB-LP provided additional information regarding its programming, explaining that the programming is produced in New York, and edited in WKOB-LP’s studio, and contended that if a Class A station cannot incorporate footage shot outside its service area in a locally produced program, then “a local newscast would not get credit for local time during a news story on an address by the President in Washington.” WKOB also asserted that “its historical record of all-day programming coupled with its record of local service to the Korean minority community in New York justifies an exercise of the discretion granted to the Commission by the [CBPA] to act in the public interest.”
The FCC ultimately denied both the application for review filed by WKOB Communications, Inc., and dismissed the opposition filed by WRNN-TV Associates Limited Partnership describing it as "moot".
In the early 2000s, the station owner began to suffer financial problems. It went into receivership in 2001, and a voluntary sale was attempted but fell through, leading to a lawsuit with the buyer. Financial problems still loomed, and the station ultimately requested Special Temporary Authority to go silent in January 2005.
Ohm sold the station to its present owners, Nave Communications LLC, on May 13, 2005 for $1,250,000. Under its new ownership, the station shortly thereafter became an Almavision affiliate in 2006. In Late-2006, Almavision programming ceased on the station, and was replaced by DayStar programming, which is still broadcasting to this day.
The station was displaced from Channel 53 to Channel 42 due to the FCC granting WFUT channel 53 for its pre-transition digital operations.
This station was originally signed on in the 1970s by CBS, Inc. In late 2008, Nave was uncertain if there would be any room left for its WKOB operation on the much smaller television band due to the DTV transition. Its attempt to secure Class A status and securing a spot on Channel 48 were both thwarted by WRNN-TV, and its Low Power classification relegated it to a secondary status. Making matters worse, its Channel 42 operation was predicted to cause interference to full power WSAH Bridgeport, if their pending application to broadcast on Channel 41 from the Empire State Building was approved. That application was ultimately denied due to unacceptable interference to WXTV-DT Paterson.
Desperate and with few alternatives, Nave turned to CBS, Inc., asking if they would object to WKOB-LP requesting displacement to WCBS-TV's analog channel position at Channel 2. CBS, which ultimately selected Channel 33 for their post-transition operations, did not object and signed a Waiver Of Consent, ultimately accepting whatever interference a WKOB-LP operation over Channel 2 would have presented to WCBS-TV. On January 21, 2009, the Request for Displacement was approved.
WKOB-LP, however, did not commence operations on Channel 2 until seven months after WCBS-TV signed off Channel 2 for the final time in July 2009. The station finally began operations on RF Channel 2 on March 7, 2010 as WKOB-LD New York.
WKOB-LD once had a construction permit to broadcast a digital signal on channel 59 at 0.4 KW, which has since been modified to specify operation on channel 2 with 0.3 KW, the latter of which is on the air as of February 2010. The station subsequently filed an Application For Displacement to move its digital signal back to channel 42. The station has filed this application for the following reason:
'Applicant's current operational facility is located on Channel 2, a low band VHF channel. VHF facilities, particularly low band VHF, are subject to reception problems due to impulse noise. Applicant seeks a channel in the UHF band that will provide improved viewer reception.'
The application has been granted and there is an outstanding construction permit to build-out a transmitter facility for a Channel 42 operation, however Nave has not completed the build-out.
In June 2013, WKOB-LD was sold to Landover 5 LLC as part of a larger deal involving 51 other low-power television stations.