think the FCC's hope that they will help LPTV stations find new channels is extremely naïve. Finding an LPTV displacement channel in any significant metropolitan area is an art that comes from experience. There is no straight forward approach to finding an available channel. The problem, of course, is to find a channel that will, with an acceptable location, antenna pattern and ERP, pass the FCC's interference analysis program based on OET Bulletin 69 (or its successor at a later time).
A straight forward analysis such as might come from a computer program might show no available channels that would have comparable covered population count. However, it might be possible through a cut and try process to craft an antenna pattern with a deep notch in a particular direction that would cure an interference conflict, or a different location within a metropolitan area might work even if the original location would not.
Fortunately the OET Bulletin computer program allows us to put in a real vertical pattern for the antenna which provides an additional degree of flexibility, but again it takes experience to know how to make use of this advantage.
In summary, I think the FCC's program will identify the most obvious available channels only. The good news is the an engineer with this type of experience will at least occasionally find an opportunity that the FCC missed. The bad news is that it may take many hours of engineering time that the license owner has to pay for.
I think the LPTV world needs to know that the FCC's attempt to find channels will inevitably have serious limitations."