WXRT personality Lin Brehmer dies at 68

Sudden death stuns fans

Longtime WXRT personality Lin Brehmer died Sunday morning, losing a battle with prostate cancer he had fought with for the last year. He was 68.

Brehmer announced last July he was taking a sabbatical from WXRT after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Brehmer felt well enough to return to the airwaves on a limited basis last November.

The news of Brehmer’s passing was announced Sunday morning on Terri Hemmert’s show

“It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that we all lost our best friend. Lin Brehmer fought cancer as long as he could. He passed early this morning, peacefully, with his wife and son by his side. Tomorrow at 10am, his XRT family will celebrate the incredible life of our best friend in the whole world. We’ll hold each other up through this heart-breaking time. Lin would want that. Take nothing for granted.”

“It is with the saddest and most heavy heart that I share the news that Lin Brehmer passed last night (1/22) surrounded by the love of his life Sarah, and their son Wilson”, said Audacy president Rachael Williamson, who oversees WXRT and six other local stations. “It is a struggle to write this note because there aren’t enough words to express and do justice to what Lin means to us, the WXRT family and the entire city of Chicago.  A rock and roll legend (with the stories to prove it), masterful writer, philanthropist, entertaining dancer, culinary aficionado, immensely wonderful person, and our best friend in the whole world- Lin lived a life of generosity, humor, kindness, and positivity that made so many others lives better.” 

Born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens, Brehmer arrived at WXRT in 1984 from Albany, N.Y.’s WQBK-FM as music director, where he was known as “The Reverend of Rock n’ Roll”. Brehmer departed for rock station KTCZ-FM Minneapolis station in 1990 but returned a year later to become WXRT’s morning personality – a position he would hold for nearly two decades before moving to middays in 2020. 

Brehmer also was known for his commentaries as “Lin’s Bin”, both on-air and also for a while on Chicago Tribune’s online platforms. Despite being from New York, Brehmer was a die-hard Cubs fan, often wearing a Cubs hat in photos and attending games at Wrigley Field. Saying Chicago was an adapted hometown of his is more than an understatement. 

Even though radio has gained a negative reception over the years due to corporate control and cost-cutting, Lin Brehmer was a reminder of how radio personalities are still connected to our communities as he did so to Chicago in his own unique way, caring about the audience he spoke to every day. They loved him, and he showed the love back. 

At the end of his “Lin Bin’s” commentaries, Brehmer would sign-off with “Take nothing for granted. It’s great to be alive.” 

Brehmer is survived by his wife Sarah and his son Wilson. Funeral arrangements are pending. 


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