Houston Matters

How growing up in Greater Houston shaped the next host of ‘Texas Country Reporter’

J.B. Sauceda grew up in La Porte and begins hosting the well-known TV show in September 2024.

J.B. Sauceda and his family.

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Fans of the TV show Texas Country Reporter know the voice of longtime host Bob Phillips and his wife Kelli, who joined him as host in 2015. The pair are retiring from the program, which chronicles life on the back roads of the Lone Star state and celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

MORE: Bob Phillips talks about 50 years of telling Texas stories

An vintage photo of Bob Phillips as the host of Texas Country Reporter.

Next September, episodes will begin airing with a new host who grew up in Greater Houston. J.B. Sauceda is a writer, photographer, and multimedia storyteller.

Sauceda has written a book called Y’all: The Definitive Guide to Being a Texan. As a photographer and licensed pilot, he once flew along the entire 3,822-mile perimeter of Texas photographing it for a feature in Texas Monthly (which now owns Texas Country Reporter) and a book called A Mile Above Texas.

He’s also one of the hosts of the traveling lifestyle program YOLO TX, and he runs the Texas Humor Instagram account.

An aerial photo of the Sabine River along the eastern edge of Texas, photographed by J.B. Sauceda for a feature in Texas Monthly.

So, clearly, telling stories about Texas is nothing new to Sauceda. That’s because he grew up in La Porte in the shadow of the San Jacinto Monument until leaving to attend the University of Texas at Austin. He now lives in the Hill Country.

In the audio above, Sauceda tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about what he plans to bring to Texas Country Reporter, what it was like growing up in Houston, and how our city's history and culture shaped him as a storyteller.