Donald Trump may not be appearing on this season of The Apprentice, but that doesn't mean he's done with his trademark "You're fired." The president-elect did just that to Charlie Brotman, who, since Dwight Eisenhower's second inauguration in 1957, has served as the official announcer for the inaugural parade—and who was dumped via email on Thursday, CNN reports. The 89-year-old tells WJLA he was "heartbroken" and "destroyed" when he first got the message informing him he won't be taking the mic on Jan. 20. "No one's ever even said thank you in the whole 60 years," Brotman tells BuzzFeed. "I was expecting a pat on the back. Instead, I got a kick in the butt!" Taking his place will be Steve Ray, a freelance announcer and audio engineer in his late 50s who volunteered for Trump's campaign, the Daily Beast notes, and who's been known to share pro-Trump sentiments on social media.
"We are thrilled for Steve Ray to be introducing a new generation of Americans to the grand traditions of the inaugural parade," an inaugural committee rep says, adding Brotman will be honored as "Announcer Chairman Emeritus." Brotman tells the Daily Beast he made some calls to find out why he was cut but never got a straight answer. "It's ageism," he says. "Maybe they're afraid I might drop dead at the mic." Still, he wishes Ray well. "I want [Ray] to do good," he says, per WJLA, adding to BuzzFeed that "if I were Trump I would do exactly what he's doing. If someone helped me, I'd want to help them." Ray notes to the Washington Post: "All of us think of Charlie as as much of the Washington landscape as any building. I'm not taking his place, I just happen to be the guy who's next." As Brotman weighs offers now coming in from media outlets, he says he still isn't sure if he'll attend the inauguration. (Read more inauguration stories.)