A passion for storytelling
Mary Parks is a SoCal based journalist who has spent more than 30 years working in all forms of media. She is the central Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Spectrum News.
Mary was also creator and host of "American Spirit", a weekly television series seen on PBS-Empire Network, Charter Cable, and The California Channel. Individual stories were distributed on Voice of America in nearly 100 countries worldwide, in 41 different languages. To watch American Spirit anywhere in the nation, you can subscribe to the American Spirit Channel :
Mary also contributes monthly American Spirit stories to West Coast Magazine.
Mary teamed up with her longtime friend, criminal defense attorney Virginia Blumenthal, to co-host the weekly radio show, The Verdict with Virginia on AM590. Together they discuss legal topics in the area of criminal defense.
Parks has produced multiple documentaries including a film on social justice and education in Cuba and a half-hour special on rare conjoined twins.
While reporting for KCBS and KNBC, Mary was the recipient of local news Emmys, Golden Mikes, Associated Press and Los Angeles Press Club awards. Her breaking-news coverage included California’s earthquakes and wildfires, the LA riots, the OJ Simpson case, and the search, capture and trial of America's first female serial killer, a story that later became the subject of the Hollywood movie Monster starring Charlize Theron.
Mary has appeared in national commercials for Chevy, Ford, Visa, Google, Snickers, Panda Express and the Super Bowl. She also spent time hosting Face to Face with Mary Parks on GTV and on the award-winning program Riverside Today to help promote the community.
Mary’s work has been nationally recognized with a Pegasus Award, the gold standard of video production, and as an AVA Platinum winner in International Digital Media Competition. She also received the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection Meritorious Service Award for her news reporting and documentary work. California's American Legion has honored her with their Media Award for reporting on veterans issues.
Before moving to California Mary worked in local news in Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach, FL where she served as Bureau Chief. Mary produced and reported live on space shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral. She began her career in her home state of Michigan at WKZO Radio in Kalamazoo.
Mary has received numerous awards and recognition for her philanthropy including the distinguished Gold Key Award from Soroptimist International of Riverside. Her contributions have been recognized by the President of the United States, the Governor of California, the California State Assembly and State Senate, and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Mary also received an appointment from California's Governor in 1997 as an advocate for persons with developmental disabilities.