Channel 64 first hit the airwaves on January 18, 1980 as WBTI
. During the daytime, it was garden-variety independent TV station, carrying a mix of reruns, old movies, syndicated talk shows, and the like. At 7:00 p.m., the signal was scrambled and receivable only to subscribers of ON TV. In 1982, ON TV started at noon. Competition from cable, particularly the roll out of QUBE
in Cincinnati, drive subscription TV services out of business. The station was sold and rebranded as WIII, and in 1990 changed its call letters to WSTR.