Texas Country Reporter celebrates 50 years on air

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Lone Star State is made up of 254 counties, and one couple has been to just about everyone. Bringing you stories of perseverance, passion, and well just stories that make you feel good.

Back in 1972, an eager journalist by the name of Bob Phillips had an idea for a television show, and five decades later, that show is now the longest-running syndicated show in Texas.

People can learn a lot from someone simply by sitting down and talking with them, and that’s exactly what Texas Country Reporter host, Bob Phillips has been doing since 1972 after he pitched an idea for a one-time half-hour show, the rest is history.

“On Monday they said, ‘hey the phones are lighting up,’ and on Tuesday they said, ‘we’re getting a bunch of mail,’ and on Tuesday afternoon they said, ‘to do another one,’ then the next week they said to do another one and another and here we are,” Phillips said.

And it wasn’t until 2007 when the solo hosts brought on a co-host and what better partner to have by his side all of these years other than his wife, Kelli.

Both said it’s tough to pick a favorite story throughout the years.

“It’s always the last place that we’ve been,” Kelli said. “That’s exactly it. The last person that we interviewed. Our favorite story usually, not always but usually, it’s the one that we just finished.”

Phillips has put in about three million miles worth of driving Texas back roads and said being able to tell the stories of those off of the beaten path makes it all worth the trips.

“These are the things people, they live to do these things, a lot of people have jobs Monday through Friday and they’re toiling away at some job just so that on the weekends they can do what we do for a living, we are very blessed people,” Phillips said.

And as you can imagine, things have changed over the past five decades, Phillips said it seems easier now to get your content our simply because of the fact there are so many digital platforms to do so.

“Today you can get on your computer or your cell phone and you can tell those stories that way and you still have a huge audience and a lot of people enjoying what you’re doing,” Phillips said.

Phillips said he has no plans on stopping soon and said they are already in the process of filming season 51, showing that so much can come out of taking “a good long drive”.

In honor of Texas Country Reporter’s 50th anniversary, you can catch Bob and Kelli alongside the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Memorial Auditorium.

If you would like more information on how you can purchase your tickets click here.

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