Charlie Brotman, the 89-year-old retired Washington Senators announcer from Silver Spring, Maryland, who has announced every presidential inauguration since 1957, will not be in charge of the job at Republican President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration this year.
Instead, WJLA reported, inaugural officials told Brotman the lead announcer for this year's festivities will be "D.C.-based freelance announcer, audio engineer and producer" Steve Ray, a Trump supporter. Brotman, who announced at the inauguration of 11 presidents starting with Dwight D. Eisenhower, has been instead offered the role of "Announcer Chairman Emeritus."
Brotman was told of the switch-up via email.
"I've been doing this for 60 years," Brotman told WJLA. "... I was destroyed."
According to the Washington Post, there are several announcers along the parade route but Brotman's role was the most important, announcing directly to the president across the street from the presidential reviewing stand. It's not just reading a script; the lead announcer must be prepared to fill holes in the parade with discussion and playful repartee.
In a statement to WJLA, Presidential Inaugural Committee director of communications (and recently ascendant Trump adviser) Boris Epshteyn said "The Presidential Inaugural Committee will be proud to honor Charlie as Announcer Chairman Emeritus on January 20th. We are thrilled for Steve Ray to be introducing a new generation of Americans to the grand traditions of the inaugural parade."
Brotman told WJLA he is weighing whether to take the offer of the emeritus position or accept one of several offers from media outlets.