Something very similar happened in Boston where WHDH-TV, the NBC affiliate, decided to keep its analog channel 7. It had been using Channel 42 for its digital signal leading up to the switchover. After the switchover, it would be the only Boston station on VHF. (Just to the north, WMiUR 9 ABC Manchester and WENH 11 PBS Dover NH were also going to reclaim their VHF channels.)
Sure enough, when WHDH turned off its analog signal on 7 and relocated its digital channel there, there was an uproar. Many Boston viewers said then y couldn't get NBC anymore. Or they got an unwatchable signal on 7. WHDH quickly applied to the FCC to operate both a digital signal on 7 and on 42 till it could figure out what to do.
I understand they're now asking the FCC to drop 7 and stay on 42, even though 42 is short-spaced to a station in Connecticut, I believe.
For the record, my family owns a cottage 100 miles north of Boston on the Maine-New Hampshire border. Three of the five local TV signals we get are VHF: ABC 8 WMTW Portland and the aforementioned ABC 9 and PBS 11. All three come in great at the cottage. 11 is our strongest signal. And at night we sometimes get a few Boston stations, depending on weather and propagation. WHDH DT 42 is probably our second-most reliable Boston signal, after WBZ DT 30. But WHDH DT 7 is also fairly reliable, maybe in 4th or 5th place among Boston TV signals.
When my Magnovox digital converter scans, it sometimes picks up TWO 7.1's and 7.2's from WHDH. I can delete the weaker pair.