I’m proud to announce that the rebranding of recently embattled Free Press Houston is now complete, and the longtime local repository for independent arts and culture coverage will be relaunching today as Byline Houston.

Although it has been a tumultuous few months for us here at Byline Houston, we’ve spent those months hard at work laying the groundwork for the new publication and rebuilding lapsed relationships with the community that it is our responsibility to cover. We hope the community will be open to inviting us into their lives again, and we hope that we can prove to them that we are once again worthy of their trust. Our pledge moving forward is to always foster a safe environment for both our employees and for members of our community. We’re extremely excited about the new publication that we have put together, and we can’t wait to introduce you all to our new chapter.

Byline Houston is conceptualized as an independent, content creator-focused media organization where the city’s bravest thinkers are given the freedom to craft bold local content without sacrificing the uniqueness of their individual voices. Founded in 2018 by a committed team of media professionals eager to change the face of local news, Byline Houston has made it its mission to cover the arts, entertainment, hard-hitting news, music and events that affect the 5 million inhabitants of Houston and the surrounding areas. As a repository for brave ideas and alternative-hued local news, Byline Houston strives to provide its readers with an unfiltered panorama of our city so they can better connect with each other and with HOU.

In addition to providing local writers with an environment where they have the liberty to express bold and alternative ideas, the freedom to cover underground and seldom written about topics, and the editorial restraint necessary for them to develop stylistically as writers, Byline Houston will also strive to provide local visual artists with a platform that will enable them to share their work with a broader audience. In keeping with that mission, the majority of the articles published by Byline Houston will be accompanied by an illustration crafted by one of the several local visual artists we have invited into our ever-expanding team of illustrators. At Byline Houston we believe that visual storytelling is equally as important as verbal storytelling, and we hope that our regular synthesis of the two will add depth to the stories that we will be visually and verbally unpacking daily for our readers.

As previously announced, Byline Houston co-owner John Mills-McCoin will be serving as the publication’s publisher. John, more commonly referred to as “Mills,” is a lifelong Houstonian who graduated from Second Baptist School and attended Vanderbilt University before moving back to Houston in 2004 to begin working in the family business. In 2008, Mills began contributing content to Free Press Houston and eventually served as the media coordinator for Free Press Summer Fest and Day For Night. Mills, will be leading Byline Houston and its staff as we all try to set a new standard for local content creation and journalism in Houston. Mills is a literal and figurative wearer of many hats, some of which cause him to often be mistaken for a Teddy Roosevelt impersonator.

I’ve been invited to join the Byline Houston team as the publication’s editor-in-chief. Raised in Singapore and Houston, I began my journey in journalism at the University of Houston, where I spent time as both the editor-in-chief of The Cougar (UH’s student newspaper) and The Houstonian (UH’s graduation magazine). After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in anthropology in 2015, I worked for a number of years as a contributing writer for several Houston-based publications, including Modern Luxury Houston and CityBook. As a former managing editor of Free Press Houston, I’m excited to continue my journalism journey at Byline Houston as the publication’s inaugural editor-in-chief. As I help shepherd Byline Houston through its infancy, I hope to provide the publication’s diverse staff with a positive and affirming creative environment where every voice is respected and every idea heard. When not busy writing and editing, I can usually be found tending to the flower and vegetable garden at my home in the East End or binge-watching Bravo with my husband and our toy poodle, who is fittingly named after a one of the real housewives.

I’m excited to announce that Emilý Æyer will be joining the editorial team as one of the publication’s two contributing editors. The Louisiana native is a composer, vocal performer, writer and figure model who makes their home in The Heights. Emilý’s original music has been featured by a variety of Houston arts entities, including local avant-garde variety show Carol, Internal/Eternal and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. When not running around town writing and performing, you can usually find them absorbing art at the Menil or exploring soundscapes while melting into the lovingly worn green couch at Antidote. 

Joining Emilý as a contributing editor is Brandon Clements. Brandon is the co-founder and head producer of Dead Dialect, as well as the host of the popular “Dead Dialect Podcast.” A California transplant, Brandon started his journey in the Houston music scene as a member of several local bands, including Zoofeelia, Devil Killing Month and Phoebe. Brandon is known for bringing his extensive knowledge and passion for music and comedy into the world of podcasting and journalism. Brandon can usually be found at Raven Tower drinking a strong IPA or at home binge-watching MMA and Sex and the City.

Local illustrator and longtime Houston resident Jade Young will be serving as the senior graphic designer for Byline Houston, and in that role she will be overseeing the publication’s talented team of illustrators. Since graduating from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science and Arts in drawing, Jade has worked on menus, murals, logos and flyers for an ever-growing list of popular local businesses, including Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails, Decatur Bar, Brazos Bookstore and El Bambi. Jade is a lover of the horror genre — as evidenced through much of her spooky creative work — and a dedicated hater of olives.

All of us at Byline Houston are super excited about the new chapter that we are now stepping into, and we hope you all will be willing to join us on our new editorial journey. Please keep your eyes peeled for our new content and your minds open as we start taking our first steps as a publication.

Byline Houston’s new website, www.bylinehouston.com, is now available for public viewing.

Editor’s Note: In a few weeks we will be updating the Byline Houston website with an archives tab that will include the majority of the articles published while we were still publishing as Free Press Houston. Unfortunately, some articles will be missing because they were deleted permanently by our former owner and they are unrecoverable (we’ve tried). If you have questions about missing articles, please email me at daniel@bylinehouston.com.