KENW-TV first broadcast a black and white TV signal in October of 1968 to Channel 3 on the Portales Cable TV company. On September 1st, 1974, the station signed on (in color) as a regional public television service broadcasting on Channel 3 from a 1000-foot tower located near Caprock, NM. This location was a midpoint between the three larger cities in Eastern New Mexico, Clovis/Portales, Hobbs, and Roswell, NM. For many viewers living on the eastern side of New Mexico, KENW-TV was the third television station that could be received over the air by antenna. The station was housed in the then newly constructed Broadcast Center on the Campus of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM.
With conversion from analog to digital television in 2006, the Broadcast Center moved into a new state-of-the art Broadcast Center facility located just across Sesame Street Dr. from the old center. This new center included three TV studios, offices, and facilities for housing KENW-FM. The old analog TV transmitter was retired and replaced with digital TV transmitters located in the various communities that had been served previously by the old analog transmitter at Caprock. The main transmitter was located midway between Portales and Clovis. Additional translators were placed in Artesia, Carlsbad, Fort Sumner, Hobbs, Roswell, Ruidoso, Tucumcari and two on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Whereas the old Channel 3 analog signal has only one channel, the new digital virtual Channel 3 has four channels with different programs on each channel, thus providing what amounts to four TV services for KENW-TV over the air viewers.
The Broadcast Center shares an educational mission with Eastern New Mexico University. The mission is three-fold. The first part of the mission is to provide Public Telecommunications services to the university community and the citizens of Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Local productions help document the interests of those living in this part of the country. In addition, a broad range of programming is carried on KENW-TV, including instructional programs for primary and secondary schools, outstanding programs that can be used by higher learning institutions in the area, and children's programming, as well as the full Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) for the general public. The public radio schedule includes news and public affairs, classical, jazz, popular music, and a wide variety of both entertainment and informational programs from National Public Radio (NPR). A second and equally important mission is to provide a training center for college students interested in a career in telecommunications. Students from various disciplines in the university use the Center's facilities. They receive training in various aspects of the mass and social media and, in turn, provide a valuable addition to the workforce of the Broadcast Center. Most students work to earn credit and to become proficient in the various skills required of a professional in the mass media. Some of the most qualified students are employed by the Broadcast Center in various operational positions. This prospect for employment becomes a motivational factor for the students who work hard to learn skills that will lead to their employment in the future.
A third part of the mission is to bring to bear the considerable technical resources and expertise of the Broadcast Center to enhance the total communications efforts at Eastern New Mexico University, using radio, television, and the social media.