WASHINGTON — For the first time in six decades, a new voice will lead this year’s presidential inaugural parade.
89-year-old Charlie Brotman has been the announcer for every inaugural parade since Dwight D. Eisenhower’s second term in 1957. But local news media organizations report that President-Elect Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee has picked a new lead announcer. Brotman told WJLA-TV that he was “heartbroken” by the decision.
As the announcer, it was Brotman’s job to tell new presidents what acts, marching bands, or people were parading past them. He did it for 10 different presidents in 15 inaugural parades.
The new lead announcer will be Steve Ray, a freelance announcer, audio engineer and producer. The 58-year-old tells media outlets that he’s not replacing Brotman; he just happens to be the guy “who’s next.” He called Brotman “a legend.”
The inaugural committee has named Brotman “Announcer Chairman Emeritus” and has offered him a prime seat to the event.