Inauguration parade announcer since 1957 replaced

Charlie Brotman, who has served as the announcer at every inaugural parade since 1957, has been replaced by President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration committee.

Brotman, 89, learned in an email Thursday that he won't work his 17th parade on Jan. 20 for the 45th president. The job doesn't pay anything.

"I'm disappointed," Brotman told The Washington Post. "I know I can do it. I know that I've done it many many times. They ask me every time and it's such an honor."

For 60 years, he has described the parade on Inauguration Day for 11 presidents, starting with Dwight Eisenhower's second term. He actually worked the first televised parade in 1949 for Harry S. Truman as one of several students from the National Academy of Broadcasting in Washington.

"First and foremost, on behalf of the PIC Staff we want to thank you for your service to this country as the Lead Announcer for the Inaugural Parade," the email to Brotman read. "There is no question that you are a Washington Institution and a National Treasure."

Instead, he was named "Announcer Chairman Emeritus," and a prime seat at the parade and special recognition.

Brotman was the stadium announcer for the old Washington Senators baseball team and voice of what is now D.C.'s Citi Open tennis tournament for 46 years.

He will be replaced by Trump campaign volunteer Steve Ray, a D.C.-based freelance announcer, audio engineer and producer who has done commercials and promotional segments for the Washington Nationals baseball team.

"All of us think of Charlie as as much of the Washington landscape as any building," Ray, 58, said to The Washington Post. "I'm on top of the world. From my point of view, I am not filling his shoes, I'm not taking his place, I just happen to be the guy who's next."

Brotman said has not yet spoken to inauguration officials.

"I want [Ray] to do good," Brotman said in an interview with WJLA-TV. "As opposed to, boy, I hope he fouls up so they say, 'We want Charlie back.' No. I don't want that at all."

He added, "I'm saying, 'You know what? Good luck, young man. I hope you do spectacular.'"

Brotman said he has several options and offers from multiple media outlets and networks.

Baseball announcer Charlie Brotman is seen at the MLB announcement of the Montreal Expos' move the nation's capital, held at the City Museum in Washington on Sept. 29, 2004. Brotman was the former Washington Senators announcer. File photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI

Trump drops inauguration announcer who's done them all since Eisenhower

President-elect Donald Trump is breaking from 11 presidents' worth of tradition and benching Charles Brotman.

The 89-year-old Brotman -- once the voice of the Washington Senators baseball team -- has announced every inauguration parade since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957.

He told WJLA he was "heartbroken" and "destroyed" by the decision at first.

"I've been doing this for 60 years," he told the Washington ABC affiliate.

In his place, the Trump team has tapped Steve Ray, a 58-year-old Washington-based freelance announcer who has worked with the MLB's Washington Nationals and for local radio stations.

"All of us think of Charlie as as much of the Washington landscape as any building," Ray told The Washington Post. "I'm on top of the world. From my point of view, I am not filling his shoes, I'm not taking his place, I just happen to be the guy who's next."

Trump transition spokesman Boris Epshteyn said Brotman will be honored as "announcer chairman emeritus.

"Since 1957, millions of Americans and countless entertainers have come to recognize Charlie Brotman as the voice of the inaugural parade," he said in a statement. "The Presidential Inaugural Committee will be proud to honor Charlie as Announcer Chairman Emeritus on January 20. 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 wished Ray well.

"As opposed to -- boy, I hope he fouls up so they say, 'We want Charlie back.' No. I don't want that at all," he said.


Trump dumps inaugural parade announcer of past 60 years

President-elect Donald Trump's team decided not to call upon the services of the inauguration announcer who has worked every parade for the past 60 years, according to a local Washington station.

Trump is choosing not to use Charles Brotman, 89, to announce his inaugural parade — breaking with decades of tradition that began with Brotman's first inaugural gig for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957.

Brotman told ABC News’ D.C. affiliate he was “heartbroken” to learn he wouldn't be announcing what would have been his 12th inaugural parade.

“I’ve been doing this for 60 years,” Brotman told WJLA.

“I was destroyed,” he added.

Brotman, once known as the voice of the Washington Senators baseball team, said he had already started to prepare for the upcoming inaugural parade before he learned he was not going to have a role.

The Trump team has instead asked Steve Ray, a 58-year-old freelance radio announcer, to announce the inaugural parade on Jan. 20. The Trump transition team said Brotman will be recognized as “Announcer Chairman Emeritus.”
"I want him to do good," Brotman said of Ray.

He told WJLA he counts himself as "one lucky son of a gun" for having the opportunity to be the voice of the inaugural parade for 60 years.

Brotman said he is still unsure whether he will attend this year's parade.

In the Trump team’s statement detailing parade plans, it recognized Brotman as “the voice of the inaugural parade.”

"Since 1957, millions of Americans and countless entertainers have come to recognize Charlie Brotman as the voice of the inaugural parade," the statement said. "The Presidential Inaugural Committee will be proud to honor Charlie as Announcer Chairman Emeritus on January 20. We are thrilled for Steve Ray to be introducing a new generation of Americans to the grand traditions of the inaugural parade."

Ray told The Washington Post he doesn’t see himself as Brotman's replacement, but as the next announcer in line for the coveted role.

"All of us think of Charlie as much of the Washington landscape as any building," Ray said. "I'm on top of the world. From my point of view, I am not filling his shoes, I'm not taking his place, I just happen to be the guy who's next."

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