WTSP, originally known as WLCY, went on the air July 7, 1965, after a long fight between several companies all vying for the last remaining commercial VHF television license available in the Tampa Bay area. They took over the ABC affiliation from WSUN, Channel 38, which then went independent.

The call letters were changed when the station was sold in 1978. It was later sold to Taft Broadcasting, then to Jacor, and has been owned by Gannett since 1996.

In 1994, they got involved in a three-way affiliation swap caused by WTVT switching to Fox and WFTS switching to ABC; they ended up being affiliated with the only network left, CBS, as of December 12, 1994.

Two slogans from the mid 1980s: "Stay in Touch with 10," which was replaced by "10, in the Center of It All," after they moved the "10" in their logo to the center of the circle onto which it was superimposed.

WTSP has to protect Channel 10 in Miami, and as a result, they have a weaker signal over most of the Tampa Bay area than the other local stations. Until the early 1990s, it was not uncommon for them to superimpose a text disclaimer over the picture (done by a slide, not by computer graphics) reading "Atmospheric conditions prevail that may affect your TV picture."

The signal is especially weak to the south, which is why WWSB in Sarasota originally affiliated with ABC.

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