If you’re a fan of the Celebrity Apprentice, then you’re surely familiar with Donald Trump’s iconic catchphrase, “You’re fired!”
Charles Brotman, the 89-year-old who has been announcing at the Presidential Inauguration since 1957, was on the recieving end of that sentiment when he was relieved of his duties roughly two weeks before the big day. In addition to announcing the proceedings of the parade, the announcer also provides fun bits of witty banter and the occasional piece of Presidential trivia to keep the coverage rolling and avoid awkward silences. Rumors have circulated about the cause of this seemingly sudden turn of events, however, no decisive answers have been reported.
During his interview with Carol Costello of CNN, Brotman confided that he thought he “was going to commit suicide” while reading the email informing him that he had been fired. A native of Washington, Brotman has also served as an announcer for the now-defunct Washington Senators baseball team, and voiced the Citi Open in DC for a whopping 46 tournaments. Replacing him is Steve Ray, a Washington-based freelancer who is quoted as saying “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.”
Although losing a position held since Eisenhower’s second term — an opportunity that Brotman called “a patriotic duty” in an interview with Tablet Magazine — couldn’t possibly be easy, there is a happy ending to this narrative. The Trump Inauguration Committee will name Brotman the Announcer Chairman Emeritus — an honor he will be unable to recieve in person as he has secured a position with NBC4, the area’s NBC station, to assist with their inauguration coverage. In an email, a station spokesperson told the Washington Post that “Given Charlie Brotman’s long history in Washington and unparalleled experience with Inaugural parades celebrating presidents in both parties, we have invited him to be part of our Inauguration coverage on January 20”. Brotman wishes his succesor well, and told WJLA that “I want [Ray] to do good. As opposed to, boy, I hope he fouls up so they say, ‘We want Charlie back.’ No. I don’t want that at all.”
Going forward, Brotman is excited for his new opportunities, and is focusing on what comes next. “Now I’m not thinking about the old news, I’m only thinking about good news,” Brotman tells the Washington Post. With the experience of many inuagurations under his belt and the respect of many in the industry, we’re excited to see where Brotman takes his talents next!