KTXL, along with NBC affiliate KCRA-TV, are the only Sacramento television stations to have never changed their network affiliations, as they were unaffected by affiliation swaps in 1995 (when KXTV acquired the ABC affiliation from KOVR, which in turn, switched to CBS) and 1998 (when KMAX-TV – channel 31 – took UPN from KQCA – channel 58, which switched from UPN to The WB).
KTXL was acquired by Tribune Broadcasting following the company's purchase of Renaissance Broadcasting in 1996.
In 1977, KTXL began a summer tradition by showcasing critically acclaimed classic feature films in annual "Summer Film Festival" presentations.
Channel 40 made television history in 1981, by broadcasting the 1978 film The Deer Hunter (and later, many other movies) unedited with potentially objectionable material intact – this policy has been restricted somewhat in recent years.
However, no official announcement has been made yet.
In November 1999, KTXL installed the first full-powered digital television transmitter in the Sacramento market operating on UHF channel 55.
Initially, the station would only turn on the stereo feed during programming broadcast in the audio format.
At one point, it had one of the largest film libraries in the Sacramento area.
In addition, KTXL ventured into in-house productions, such as the children's program "Captain Mitch", horror movie host Bob Wilkins and Big Time Wrestling.
The following year, Camellia City Telecasters sold KTXL to Renaissance Broadcasting.
While most Fox affiliates since the mid-1990s have shifted away from running classic sitcoms and cartoons, to run syndicated talk shows on their daytime schedules; until recently, KTXL was among a few stations to be an exception to this status: the daytime lineup continued to feature sitcoms well into the 2000s, even still holding syndication rights to The Andy Griffith Show after many decades.
It would also mark a re-entry into the Sacramento market for Sinclair, which owned KOVR (channel 13) from 1997 until it sold the CBS affiliate to CBS Television Stations in 2005.