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Free Press Houston
Owner(s)Steve Harter
PublisherMills McCoin
Managing editorDaniel Renfrow
Founded2003; 21 years ago (2003)
Political alignmentFar-left
Ceased publication2018; 6 years ago (2018)

Free Press Houston was a free monthly newsprint publication focusing on arts, entertainment, culture and politics. Founded in March 2003 by Omar and Andrea Afra, Free Press Houston was distributed throughout the greater Houston area with particularly strong distribution in inner city neighborhoods such as Montrose, Heights, and the Houston Warehouse District.


Free Press Houston began its publishing history in March 2003. Although independent of previous such publishing ventures in the Houston area, the original staff did include contributors from Houston-based alternative publications such as Houston's Other and Public News. However, Free Press Houston distinguished itself from these earlier ventures by expanding past merely focusing on Houston's art and music scene into liberal political commentary and controversial local issues like human trafficking. Free Press Houston is often considered by conservative circles to align themselves with left-wing and socialist politics due to their notable advocacy and defense of abortion, illegal immigration and same-sex marriage.[citation needed]

In 2018 financiers seized Afra's assets, including FPH, and had plans to sell them. Afra maintains the sale was deficient and legally revokable. [1] A public auction was held at law office in Downtown Houston where the owner of Yellow Cab Houston, Steve Harter, sold it to himself.[2]

Westheimer Block Party and Free Press Summer Festival

Himself a performing musician and one-time bass guitar instructor, Free Press Houston publisher Omar Afra has long been interested in event production. This interest resulted in a small scale revival over several years (2005–2009) of Houston's legendary Westheimer Street Festival as the "Westheimer Block Party". Later, Mr. Afra went on to become the principal promoter of Free Press Summer Fest, a two-day annual event held in Eleanor Tinsley Park. Featuring headliners as diverse as Willie Nelson and Iggy Pop, Free Press Summer Festival has served to bring attention to Houston's active role within American musical culture and growing role within the U.S. Music industry. Summer Fest 2012 is estimated to have drawn well over 80,000 attendees.

Omar Afra, Accusations of Sexual Harassment

In August 2018, Afra was accused of sexual harassment by two women. All accusations were dismissed by HPD and Harris County. In response to the accusations Afra posted to his personal Facebook account, acknowledging behavior in which "I have veered away from what I knew was right and caused pain to those around me including family and friends," adding he was "saddened, shocked, and embarrassed...for the developments over the last several days." Afra announced he would step down from his positions at Free Press Houston, where he served as publisher and was removed from his role in the Day for Night festival [3] [4]


  1. ^ Dansby, Andrew (2018-11-16). "Free Press Houston, Day for Night assets to be sold". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  2. ^ Alexander, Chloe (2018-11-17). "Free Press Houston, Day for Night Festival being sold in public auction". KHOU. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  3. ^ Press, Houston (13 August 2018). "Omar Afra Ousted From Day For Night Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations". Houston Press.
  4. ^ Wrigley, Deborah (13 August 2018). "Festival cuts ties with founder for sexual misconduct allegations". ABC13 Houston.