Brotman will not participate in upcoming inauguration

US President-elect Donald Trump has decided not to rely on the voice of announcer Charles Brotman, who has been working on the ceremony since 1957. Brotman said Monday that he was heartbroken by the tycoon's decision. Brotman, 89, presented all the presidential runway shows since Dwight D. Eisenhower took office for the second time in 1957. Brotman had been the stadium announcer at Griffith Stadium, home of the Washington Senators baseball team. Brotman noted that on Opening Day 1956, Eisenhower was at the ballpark to make the ceremonial first pitch.

Later that year, a White House staffer called Brotman and said Eisenhower was impressed with his work, and he wanted Brotman for the inauguration. The staffer asked Brotman, "Will you charge a fee? Because our parade budget is very minimal." Brotman responded, "No, as a matter of fact, to be honest, I'd pay you for the honor."

Long history comes to an end

The New York billionaire, who will take office as the 45th US President, decided to break with tradition.

"I looked at my e-mails and then took the shock of my life," Brotman told CNN today, referring to the message he received from Trump's transition team to report the bad news to him. "I felt as if Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach," said the veteran announcer, clearly annoyed by Trump's decision.

In an interview with the local WJLA station, Brotman declared himself "disconsolate" and "destroyed." "I've been doing this for 60 years," he added.

Instead, Trump chose Steve Ray, a 58-year-old broadcaster who worked for the Washington National baseball team and several US radio stations. For his part, Ray praised Brotman, whom he described as an institution, as well as "part of the Washington landscape," and stressed that he does not intend to "take its place."

The transition team has announced that Brotman will be honored as "emeritus announcer" on the 20th, a consolation prize that may help him withstand his utter disappointment.

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