The station's lineup consists of brokered ethnic programs, a weekday one-hour newscast (composed mainly of repackaged CNN stories), infomercials and children's programs to satisfy the Federal Communications Commission's "educational/informational" requirements.
Mountain Broadcasting was founded in 1985 by a group of Korean Americans, led by the Reverend Sun Young Joo of Wayne, New Jersey. The group secured a construction permit from the FCC to build channel 63 in 1987, and the station began operations on April 26, 1993, with a Christian religious format, running mostly programs from FamilyNet. Later in 1993, the station also began running public domain movies and film shorts from Main Street TV, along with FamilyNet programs.
In 1996, when New York City-owned WNYC-TV (channel 31, now WPXN-TV) dropped its ethnic, foreign-language television programming following its sale to private interests, many of these programs were picked up by WMBC-TV. WMBC also dropped FamilyNet and Main Street TV programming and began to air more infomercials and religious shows directly from ministries. By 1997, it ran a blend of religion and infomercials during the day and ethnic shows at night and on Saturdays. It was also running several hours a week of educational kids shows, and began producing a local newscast.
WMBC had an extremely weak over-the-air signal in New York City but with a new antenna on the Empire State Building it can be seen more clearly. The station is also carried on most of the cable providers in that market, including Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. Its signal was dropped from DirecTV's New York City local stations package on December 31, 2005; however, DirecTV resumed carriage of WMBC in early 2009.
WMBC-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 63, on February 17, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television (this deadline was moved to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 18, using PSIP to display WMBC-TV's virtual channel as 63 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.