The station debuted on July 31, 1960 as KSOO-TV, the third station in Sioux Falls. It was owned by the South Dakota Broadcasting Company along with KSOOradio and was an NBC affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. From 1960 to 1969, it operated as the flagship of a regional network with separately-owned KORN-TV in Mitchell (channel 5, now KDLT-TV on channel 46). KSOO-TV served the eastern portion of the market, while KORN-TV served the western portion. In 1969, the Federal Communications Commission forced the breakup of this network, and KSOO-TV became the sole NBC affiliate.
In 1970, it bought KXAB-TV in Aberdeen to boost its coverage in northeastern South Dakota. As part of the sale, KXAB’s calls changed to KCOO-TV. The two stations were bought by Forum Publishing Company of Fargo, North Dakota in 1975 and switched their call letters respectively to the current KSFY and KABY. KPRY-TV in Pierre was added a year later in 1976. In 1983, KSFY swapped affiliations with channel 5, then recently renamed KDLT and became an ABC affiliate. ABC was the top-rated network at the time and wanted to be on a stronger station. Additionally, KSFY had three full-power transmitters to KDLT’s one, and Forum’s flagship stations WDAY and WDAZ in the eastern part of North Dakota were also converting to ABC affiliations at the same time.
Forum sold the KSFY stations to Aflac in 1985. Aflac sold its broadcasting division to Retirement Systems of Alabama in 1996, who merged it with Ellis Communications to form Raycom Media. In 2004, Raycom sold the KSFY stations to The Wicks Group of Companies.
Hoak Media bought KSFY and its satellite stations in July 2006, as well as KVLY-TV and KXJB-TV (LMA with Catamount Broadcasting) of Fargo and KFYR-TV of Bismarck, North Dakota and its satellite stations. The sale was approved by the FCC on November 17, 2006. On November 20, 2013, Hoak announced the sale of most of its stations, including KSFY and its satellites to Gray Television. The sale was completed on June 13, 2014.