The station was signed on by Edward Johnson in 1977 as the first independent station in the Knoxville market, as well as the first new commercial station in the area in over 20 years. Johnson owned it until February 1979. John Cunningham and Calvin Smith owned WCPT-TV from 1979 to September 1981, at which time the station was sold to Cumberland Communications, a division of McClatchy Newspapers. The station moved to Channel 20 and changed calls to WINT-TV in 1982.
Initially WCPT ran a mix of religious shows, some low budget syndicated movies and westerns, and some cartoons, as well as sporting shows and public affairs programs. By the early 80's, more movies and drama shows aired as well as cartoons.
In 1983, another company built WKCH-TV channel 43 (now WTNZ) and at that point, WINT went dark, selling their programming to WKCH and turning their license to the FCC at the end of 1983. In 1997, WBXX-TV began broadcast on channel 20, on a new license.