Mayes will sit in for the vacationing Paul Cameron on tonight’s 11pm news.
According to The Charlotte Observer, Cameron posted a picture of the two of them at lunch on his station facebook page. WBTV news director Dennis Milligan said the post got tens of thousands of hits, so WBTV asked Mayes to sit-in for a show.
“It took him about a minute of reading to get used to it,” says Milligan. “You could tell when the old news guy kicked in, kaboom. He had full command.”
Mayes also sat in on the station’s news meeting, where the police shooting of an unarmed man was the key topic.
“He knew every detail,” says Molly Grantham, who will be his co-anchor Friday night. “He had great questions to ask. He was still the newsman, even at 91. That was when I was sure this is such a great idea.”
Mayes started as “Your Esso Reporter” on WBTV in 1952. He stayed at the station until the 1980s when he moved over to rival ABC affiliate WSOC He retired from the anchor desk in 1988, but continued to do special reports for WSOC.