Automotive & Business Reporter
Mary Conway was raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, near a small town where her father ran a gas station in an area dependent on a Chevrolet plant. “As GM goes, so goes the nation,” was more than an adage around Janesville.
Conway witnessed the vicious cycle that leads to plant closings. She watched friends’ parents get transferred during lean times. She saw stores and businesses closing during poor economic years. Conway brought these experiences to her job as an automotive reporter in the Motor City for WXYZ-TV, Detroit.
Upon graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Conway began her broadcast career as a reporter for WIFR in Rockford, Illinois. Within months, she was hired by WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a reporter and weekend anchor.
Three years later, Conway joined WXYZ-TV, the ABC-TV station in Detroit. She would spend 29 years reporting at Channel 7, covering thousands of stories of local and international import.
Conway’s knowledge and passion for the automotive industry led to her assignment as Channel 7’s primary automotive reporter soon after she joined the station. It was a bold move and made her the only female TV reporter in a male-dominated profession. She stood out also because of her exceptional reporting.
Conway was instrumental in supporting and organizing Channel 7’s coverage of the North America International Auto Show, the Detroit Grand Prix and the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Conway covered Nelson Mandela, Pope John II, Rosa Parks, and every U.S. president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama. Ross Jones, a WXYZ-TV investigative reporter, wrote that “When major stories broke around the world, the question for management wasn’t who to send, but rather, how soon can Mary get on a plane?”