WPIX made its on-air debut on June 15, 1948 as New York's fifth television station and second independent outlet. It was also the second of three stations to start up in the New York market during 1948, one month after Newark-based independent WATV (channel 13, now WNET) and two months before ABC-owned WJZ-TV (channel 7, now WABC-TV)
In 1999 the station replaced them with the New York Mets, which up until that point had spent their entire televised history with WOR/WWOR. Ironically, beginning in 2005, over-the-air Yankees broadcasts were aired by WWOR, which was as synonymous with the Mets as WPIX was with the Yankees.
On September 11, 2001, the transmitter facilities of WPIX as well as eight other New York City television stations and several radio stations were destroyed when two hijacked airplanes crashed into and destroyed the World Trade Center towers.