WTVO signed on the air May 3rd, 1953 as Rockford's first television station. It originally aired on Channel 39 but later moved to Channel 17.Hal Froelich, one of the founders of WTVO, served as General Manager until he retired in 1990.
One of the longest running on-air personalities in the area's history was news anchor Bruce Richardson. Starting in 1956, Richardson spent more than 35 years at the station.
Weather Director Bob Kevern started his career at WTVO in 1959 where he stayed for 30 years.
In the early 60's, local businesses like Comay's Jewelers, Humphrey Cadillac and Olds, Swede Clark's and Bill Hembrough sponsored movie nights.
During the early 60's, it was common for stars to visit Rockford TV stations. Don Ameche star of the show "International Showtime" joined Richardson on the news set in July of '63.
The station is now also home to WQRF FOX 39, My Network TV, Bounce, and of course "WTVO Channel 17, Rockford."