As great a guy as Bob Lee at WDBJ is in trying to be sure everyone has a great HD experience, when it comes down to brass tacks, he doesn't care if I (me personally who lives in Greensboro, NC) can see WDBJ-DT or not since I do not live in his market. My watching his station for EVERY CBS show will not help his ratings no matter how much he may want to provide me with a signal (and it is a VERY NICE signal here too!). That is the broadcasting biz and I don't harbor ill will toward him or WDBJ or any station for that matter. I have had people in surrounding markets do everything they could to get me to waiver them for LIL on satellite for my station because they liked our news or our graphics or we carried some show the FOX in their market didn't, what ever. As much I wanted to say yes, I couldn't. And I would WANT to. It didn't help us at all, and it would cause more problems with D*, FOX, the other FOX affiliate I was undercutting.
That is the crux of the matter. When every station has to make that decision on which channel to give back, market coverage will be one important factor, not only where the signal goes, but interference, possible future interference, operational costs, maintenance costs, the list is as long as your arm. That is why I say most stations will go back to their analog channels, if it works better than their digital assignment. I also know some stations will not for various reasons too, such as cost already spent, out of core analog assignment, low VHF assignment, better antenna location, better coverage, again that list is as long as your arm. I hear WFMY is going to stay on channel 51 and not go back to channel 2. I would like to go back to channel 8 from 35, WXLV and WUPN both have better coverage on their analogs than digitals. I would suspect they will go back, but I haven't heard.
You may not like it, but that is the reality of the situation. and every station is different, please remember that. OTA broadcasting is a business first and foremost and decisions are based on that. If they are not, the station goes out of business and dark.