Texas Country Reporter is a weekly syndicated television program, hosted and produced by Bob Phillips, which airs in all twenty-two Texas media markets, generally on weekends. Reruns are broadcast nationally on the satellite/cable channel RFD-TV. As of April 2008, Phillips had already taped two thousand episodes of the program. Since that time about two hundred other segments have been aired.
Texas Country Reporter showcases Texas people and places, with an emphasis on rural areas and in a style similar to that of Charles Kuralt's On the Road for CBS News. Originally called 4 Country Reporter, it debuted in 1972 on Dallas television station KDFW, Channel 4 and was first hosted by John Mclean, then Jeff Rosser, and finally Bob Philips. In 1986, Phillips left KDFW and began selling the show in syndication under the name Texas Country Reporter. In the Dallas market, KDFW did not pick up the syndicated version, but rival station WFAA did and named the show 8 Country Reporter. About this time Dairy Queen became the show's main sponsor, a move which allowed Phillips to be the spokesman for the chain in its advertising for the company's Texas-based restaurants.
Texas Country Reporter operates a resort north of Bandera known as the Escondida Hacienda. When the resort opened, TCR ran a two-part episode on its development.
The show is independently syndicated with Phillips retaining half of the advertisements for regional sponsors; he appears in many of the regional ads, and the sponsors' logos adorn the back of the his SUV. Each fall the program headlines a "Texas Country Reporter Festival" in Waxahachie south of Dallas, with some of the people who have been highlighted on the show in attendance.Texas Country Reporter posts selected segments to its YouTube page, and some have been featured on local newscasts. A three-DVD highlights set, Go! Stay! Eat!, was released September 17, 2005.
A national version of the show, On the Road With Bob Phillips, was planned to debut in 2010; Phillips previously did sixty stories in thirty-five states as part of a "Texas Country Reporter Discovers America" series for the show's 25th anniversary in 1998.
Most episodes now have one segment devoted to an out-of-state feature.
John Chadwell, a collector in Wichita Falls, is preserving artifacts from the former Wichita Falls Transportation Company, an independent truck production firm owned by Joseph A. Kemp, which was in business from 1911 to 1932.
Maurice Jackson, in his 45th year of business in 2012 in O'Donnell, operates one the last remaining full-service gasoline stations in the state of Texas.
Leon Jenkins, worked as a porter at the Southeast Texas Regional Airport in Beaumont even past the age of 102. His secret of longevity was to "treat everybody right" and "never give up." He has since died.
Riggan Johnson, once considered the youngest cowboy in Texas; when he was seven years of age, he was working daily with his father on the Tongue River Ranch in Cottle County.
Scott Myers, sculptor of famous faces at the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Rob Roy Parnell, harmonica player in the Hill Country; brother of musician Lee Roy Parnell
Stryker Pena, formerly the only runner on the track team at Samnorwood High School in Collingsworth County. He had no formal track on which to practice, but his coach, Jason Porton never lost faith in Stryker's talent.
Chuck D. Reiter, operates by himself a dairy farm off Farm-to-Market Road 51 near Gainesville 365 days a year
David Smith, sculptor of weather vanes with mythological images, based in Sugar Land, Texas
Robert E. L. Smith, established Depression Expression Museum in Lamesa, with memorabilia from the Great Depression and an original school building transported there from neighboring Gaines County
Ryan Smith, law-school dropout at the age of twenty-five returned the drive-in theater to Lubbock; in 1948, his maternal grandfather had opened a drive-in in Lubbock, also at the age of twenty-five.
Robert "Bob" Terry (born c. 1963), owner of Wild West Toys in Azle near the Tarrant/Parker county line, the last American manufacturer of the cap pistol. Terry also operates the website, Westerns on the Web.com .
Bill Walter Worrell (born c. 1935), western artist and sculptor with studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and along the Llano River in Art, near Mason, Texas. Worrell has erected a unique personal "cemetery" which he calls the "Garden of Thorns", where he "buries" with engraved white wooden crosses his "thorns in the flesh" as he encounters them, such as Fear, Blame, and Shame.
Steve Wynne, still repairs existing models and hand assembles a few DeLorean DMC-12s each year at his shop in Humble, Texas. The original company founded by John DeLorean closed in 1982.
Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame, operated by veteran sports announcer Al Pickett in Abilene honors local and regional excellence at the high school and collegiate levels in football, baseball, basketball, and golf; featured on TCR the weekend of August 3, 2013.
Bracken Cave near Natural Bridge Caverns north of San Antonio, home to one of two large bat colonies in Texas. Bats control the insect population, help to pollinate plants, and are a food source for other animals.
Central Texas Tool Company, a fourth-generation non-computerized operation of the Carpenter family at 1410 Walnut Street in Abilene, specializes in pipe threading and the repair of oilfield equipment.
Chinati Hot Springs, a remote rustic resort in Presidio County, has been the focus of more than one episode.
Ezell Aviation, operated by father and son Nelson and Chad Ezell in Breckenridge, restores abandoned old aircraft to flying status once again.
Farley's Boat Works, originally established in 1916 in Port Aransas, hosted U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a fishing trip in 1937. Reopened under a new owner in 2011, the company invites customers to build with assistance their own boats in their shop.
Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, known for its holiday treats, particularly fruitcake, aired December 22, 2007
Copano Bay Fishing Pier, north of Rockport, is a 24-hour fishing bank on the former Copano Causeway, which was constructed in 1930. The 11-mile long Copano bridge was replaced in 1966 by a modern structure and dedicated to then U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Well lit, the pier is popular twenty-four hours a day.
Doc McGregor Collection, located within the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, is a massive restoration project of some 300,000 community photographs of all kinds taken in Corpus Christi from the 1930s through the 1950s. Photographer Ron Randolf has since 1987 been sorting the photographs into an orderly collection.
8 Track Museum, operated by Bucks Burnett at 2630 E Commerce Street in Dallas, has a collection of some three hundred 8-track tapes.
Fort Davis, a glimpse at downtown restoration, including the Hotel Limpia
Frontier Texas!, state-of-the-art western museum in Abilene, with focus on eight weather vanes in the shape of bison installed in 2013 in the courtyard.
Gil's Broiler & Manske Bakery in San Marcos, known for its charbroil hamburgers and the Manske roll, a large cinnamon treat formerly sold nationally but returned to local-only production.
Hotel El Capitan in downtown Van Horn, historic hotel underwent $2.5 million in renovations in 2013; episode depicts Van Horn as the center of a wheel from which spokes emanate to outlying historic sites and attractions in a remote desert area.
National Museum of Funeral History, Houston exhibit of various products associated with the funeral industry, with the theme "every day above ground is a good day."
Neal's Dining Hall, a family-owned business established in 1926 in Concan in Uvalde County, located on the Frio River, offers cooking from scratch, with a speciality in chicken-fried steaks. One of the notable customers of the establishment was former GovernorDolph Briscoe.
R. Wilson House, 1950s style residence preserved in Temple, with the interior furnishings made of laminated plastic
Satin Strings, under its director, Todd Berridge, is known for the stirring emotional presentations it delivers at Permian High School in Odessa. The group has performed at presidential inaugurations and other national events.
Six-man football in Texas, examines small high schools which can recruit only six, instead of eleven players, aired October 5, 2007
Snow's BBQ, eatery in Lexington, Texas, open only on Saturday mornings and usually sold out by noon; a school custodian, Tootsie Tomanetz, has been the pit master; Texas Monthly ranks Snow's the best eatery of its kind in Texas.
Texas Basketball Museum, located in tiny Carmine in Fayette County in southeastern Texas, is operated by coach Bob Springer, whose collection focuses on Texas players elevated into the professional ranks as well as high school teams with particular achievement.
Texas Church Project, five photographers, Jeremy Moore, David Brown, Lee Carmichael, Mike Castles, and Matt Magruder, wander about Texas photographing historic churches.
The last high school commencement ceremony held in Spade, Texas, which features a wounded Korean War veteran finally graduating.
The unique arrangement between the East Texas high schools of Apple Springs (which participates in six-man football but has no band) and Hudson (which has a band but does not participate in football); Hudson's band thus participates during Apple Springs football games.