Flint, MI—Lovers of radio, talk shows, local news, and urban contemporary music will now have a new station to call home after the May 14 launch of Flint’s newest radio station, 98.9, The Beat.

Avid listeners of the Flint radio scene may recognize the station number as Jamz. The Jamz station, known in the area for its focus on R&B, has gone under new management to Edward Graham, a Flint Native who made his career in Waco, Texas where he still manages a station also known as The Beat. 

Despite his success in Texas, Graham said his plan was always to return to Flint, a city he grew up loving and often returned to throughout his career. 

“I always had my eyes on doing something back in Flint. I was born and raised there. It’s home,” Graham said. 

Through a sad turn of events, Graham took control of the station after the death of Michael Schumpert, another Flint native and owner of 98.9 Jamz. In an effort to keep the beloved station alive, Graham got in contact with Schumpert’s family and worked out a deal to keep the station running under a new name. (The Beat has no connection to Flint Beat.)

Graham said he’s had to watch over the years as Flint’s airwaves became corporately owned and a lot of local programming was lost. In his opinion, many local stations have slowly lost their focus on the community. 

Graham said it was difficult watching his city go through the water crisis. He said problems like these made him want to return home and give something back to the community. 

Flint radio personality Jordyn Anese on air in the morning on 98.9 The Beat on June 3, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

“I look at some of the things that have taken place in Flint over the last few years…Flint needs a voice, you know? When you have something that you want focused on the community, you want someone who is from the community, who knows the community,” Graham said.

According to Graham, The Beat’s approach to radio will be twofold. While he wants emphasize news and advocacy, he also wants to entertain. 

For this, Graham has decided to feature two nationally syndicated shows on the station, The Breakfast Club and The Deja Vu Show. On top of this, Graham will also be bringing in local talent in the form of hosts Foxxy Dee and Eddie Kane who will go live starting Tuesday, June 1 with their own shows. 

“We do have some syndicated programming but after that. We’re going to be live and local and I’m looking forward to that,” said Graham.

Listeners can tune into 98.9 for more information on the station or visit the station’s site here.

Santiago Ochoa is Flint Beat's Latinx Community reporter. He is always looking to write about anything Flint or Latinx. He especially enjoys investigative reporting and human-interest stories. A communications...