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However, the station did not remain a Fox affiliate for long.By 1988, KMSP was one of several Fox affiliates nationwide that were disappointed with the network's weak programming offerings, particularly on Saturday nights, which were bogging down KMSP's otherwise successful independent lineup.The episode was titled "The Call of the, Like, Wild".During its early years until 1972, the station's studios and offices were located in a lower level of the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis; the transmitter was located on top of the tower, the tallest structure in the area until 1971, along with WCCO-TV (channel 4) and WTCN-TV (channel 11, now KARE).Throughout its years with ABC, KMSP was notorious for having a sub-standard news department with large staff turnover.
KSTP-TV looked forward to affiliating with the top network, as third-place NBC had been in a long ratings slump.That January, channel 9 dropped Fox's Saturday night lineup; By the early 1990s, Fox had exploded in popularity; it had begun carrying strong shows that were starting to rival the program offerings of the "Big Three" networks, and had just picked up the broadcast rights to the NFL's National Football Conference. (with the two-hour premiere of Star Trek: Voyager), with channel 9 becoming a UPN owned-and-operated station due to Chris-Craft/United's ownership stake in the network—making it the second network-owned station in the Twin Cities (alongside CBS-owned WCCO-TV).In response to this, in October 1993, Chris-Craft/United Television partnered with Paramount Pictures (which was acquired by Viacom in 1994) to form the United Paramount Network (UPN) and both companies made independent stations that both companies respectively owned in several large and mid-sized U. Over time, KMSP became one of UPN's most successful affiliates in terms of viewership.This suited channel 9, as it wanted the prestige of being a network affiliate without being tied down to a network-dominated program schedule; at the time, Fox only programmed a nightly talk show and, starting in 1987, two nights of prime time programming; the network would start its full-week programming schedule in 1993.For its first few years with Fox, the station served as the de facto Fox affiliate for nearly all of Minnesota and South Dakota.