A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.
TV on the Radio isn’t just the name of a really good band.
It’s also a quirk in the design of analog television, a medium that has largely been usurped by its digital equivalent.
But a funny thing happened on the way to obscurity: As analog TV gave way to digital, a handful of risk-taking broadcasters, sensing an opportunity, have started to run those analog TV stations as FM radio stations—big FCC plans be damned. The shift is surprisingly contentious in the world of broadcast.
And it all comes down to the special superpowers of the VHF-driven channel 6.