Trump snubs announcer, ends 60-year-old presidential inauguration tradition
89-year-old Charlie Brotman has been the lead announcer at all presidential inauguration parades in the US since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957. The inauguration ceremony comprises of the swearing in of a new president and marks the beginning of his four-year term. US President-elect Donald Trump has quietly ended a 60-year-old tradition by replacing Brotman.
Charlie Brotman has been lead announcer for the inauguration of 11 US presidents, starting from Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957 to Barack Obama in 2013.
Brotman said he found out about the decision through an email by the Trump's transition team. He said he was initially "heartbroken" and "destroyed" and thought he would "commit suicide." The Trump team has replaced Brotman with 58-year-old Steve Ray, a Washington-based freelance announcer. Despite his sadness, Brotman has a positive message for Ray - "Good luck, young man. I hope you do spectacular."
"I looked at at my email, then I got the shock of my life. I felt like Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach," a disappointed Brotman said about how he felt on receiving news that the Trump team has replaced him.
The Trump transition team has offered Brotman a VIP seat and special recognition at the inauguration ceremony with the title of "Announcer Chairman Emeritus." Brotman though still isn't sure whether he'll attend the parade. Meanwhile, the new announcer, Steve Ray insisted, "I'm not replacing Charlie. I'm not filling his shoes because Charlie is irreplaceable. He's an absolute legend."