‘XRT's Brehmer: It Wasn't Me

Lin is no lobbyist

WXRT deejay and Chicago institution Lin Brehmer wants to make one thing perfectly clear:

He hasn't sold out.

"I will always be on the side of the musicians," he wrote on his Facebook page upon learning that his employer sent out a mass e-mail including his name that asked listeners to lobby against a bill before Congress that would mandate broadcasters to pay added royalties to songs they play on the air.

"[R]est assured I did not write the e-mail," Brehmer wrote, as reported by the Tribune. "I never read the e-mail; and I certainly never endorsed the e-mail before it was sent out to over 10,000 listeners."

According to Chicagoland Radio and Media, "WXRT always sends out their subscriber e-mails making them appear that it came from one of their DJs. They do so on a rotating basis. It just happened to [be] Lin Brehmer's turn this time, so the e-mail appeared to have come from him in the 'From:' line."

At issue is the "Performance Tax:" CBS Radio, which owns WXRT, says that "Congress is considering a law that could force some of your favorite radio stations to limit the amount of music they play, or even drive some stations to stop playing music."

The radio industry does pay money into a fund for songwriters but has been "exempted from a performance tax, one that would go to the artists (and, not unimportantly, to their labels), on the sensible grounds that radio airplay represented free publicity," notes Hitsville.

According to Brehmer's bio, his motto, borrowed from Gerard Manley Hopkins, is: "Flesh fade and mortal trash fall to the residuary worm', you and I might as well Rock and Roll."

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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