Former inauguration announcer: It was the shock of my life

Former inauguration announcer responds to Trump's announcement, says he doesn't wish replacement any ill.

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After President-elect Donald Trump fired longtime inauguration announcer Charles Brotman, CNN approached Brotman for an interview.

Brotman, who is 88 years old and has been announcing inaugurations since 1957, was replaced by Trump supporter Stever Ray, who is a freelance announcer in Washington, D.C.

"I looked at at my email, then I got the shock of my life," Brotman told CNN's Carol Costello. "I felt like Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach."

Brotman also said when he read the email from the Trump transition team he thought he "was going to commit suicide."

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

"I've been doing this for 60 years," he added.

"All of us think of Charlie as [being] 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.