WHTN signed on as WFYZ on December 30, 1983, with a general entertainment format featuring cartoons, sitcoms, movies and music videos. It was originally owned by Murfreesboro TV Corporation. In 1984, lacking the resources to grow and amidst signal problems in parts of Nashville, the station's management realized it was unable to compete against other independent stations Channel 30 (WCAY-TV, then owned by TVX, Inc.) and Channel 17 (WZTV, then owned by Multimedia). By 1985, the station shifted to a 24-hour music video format. Later in 1985, the station was sold to CTN and flipped to an all-religious format and became WHTN at the beginning of 1986.