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Norman R. Glenn Papers


Norman R. Glenn Papers
Glenn, Norman R.
Collection number:
LAB 96-69
2.50 linear feet
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
1933-1998 and undated
Collection Area:
Mass Media and Culture
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

Norman R. Glenn (born in 1909 as Norman R. Goldman) was the founding editor and publisher of Sponsor and Marketing and Media Decisions. Glenn createdSponsor in 1946 as a publication geared towards the broadcasting advertiser. The magazine wrote well known and influential commentary, including a series of editorials on McCarthyism and blacklisting entitled "Red Channels" which earned the magazine a George Polk Memorial Award for distinguished journalism. Glenn created another trade magazine Marketing and Media Decisions which provided guidance to advertisers during the television era. The Norman R. Glenn Collection spans the years 1933 to1998. The collection contains two scrapbooks, correspondence, and publications.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


The collection is open for research use.

Preferred citation:

Norman R. Glenn Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials page for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Norman R. Glenn (born Norman R. Goldman), founding editor and publisher of Sponsor and Marketing and Media Decisions, was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois on September 3, 1909. Mr. Glenn enrolled in the University of Chicago as a Liberal Arts major in 1927 but dropped out during his senior year due to financial hardship.

To help support himself and his family, Mr. Glenn took a job with The Chicago Daily News. While at The Chicago Daily News he was introduced to the General Manager of WLS radio in Chicago who offered Mr. Glenn a job and where he worked from 1932 to 1936. His first job at the radio station was to hold up placards introducing the acts at WLS's weekly show, "The National Barn Dance". Mr. Glenn was eventually promoted to information clerk at WLS and finally, in 1933, to Promotion Director. As Promotion Director, he handled all publicity and promotions for the Prairie Farmer-owned WLS.

In 1936, Martin Codell, publisher of Broadcasting Magazine, offered Mr. Glenn an opportunity with the New York office of his magazine. Mr. Glenn accepted and one year later, in 1937, transferred to Broadcasting Magazine's Washington D.C. office where he was promoted to Business Manager. While at Broadcasting Magazine, Mr. Glenn came up with the idea to run a series of ads designed as public service. The result of this was a series of public service advertisements specifically addressing the war effort. These ads ran in Broadcasting Magazine from 1942 to 1943. Mr. Glenn remained with Broadcasting Magazine until he entered the military in 1942. Mr. Glenn served in the military until the end of World War II in 1945.

In 1945, Mr. Glenn married Elaine Cooper and, for a short time, was Executive Director of Frequency Modulation magazine. Earlier, while at Broadcasting Magazine, Mr. Glenn imagined a trade journal geared towards the broadcast advertiser - to serve the concerns of broadcast media, broadcasters and advertisers. This idea came to fruition with the publication of Sponsor magazine in November of 1946. Sponsor's credo, as stated in the magazine's first issue was, "Sponsor is the trade magazine for the man who foots the broadcast advertising bill..its objective is to do a job for the sponsor". Sponsor initially ran as a monthly publication but by the end of 1947 expanded into a bi-weekly publication.

Sponsor magazine was a popular and influential magazine within the broadcast community. Sponsor's editorials were of notable influence. The editorials called for sound TV and radio practices creation of a television ad bureau, a revitalized radio ad bureau, improved research and media buying professionalism. For several years, Sponsor ran a series entitled, "This We Fight For". This was a series of articles dealing with ethical standards. During the early to mid 1950s, Sponsor also ran a series of editorials entitled,"Red Channels" which attacked McCarthyism and blacklisting. This series earned the magazine the George Polk Memorial Award for distinguished journalism. Norman Glenn sold Sponsor magazine to Obijay Press of Duluth, Minnesota in 1963.

Elaine Glenn passed away in March of 1966 and later that same year Norman Glenn created another trade magazine, Marketing & Media Decisions. Marketing & Media Decisions was an extension of Sponsor magazine. It gave advertisers guidance on evaluating and using all advertising media in the television era. Mr. Glenn sold Marketing & Media Decisions in 1985.

In 1985, Mr. Glenn founded the Community Action Network (CAN), a non-profit group in New York City that is run in partnership with broadcast and print media and is supported by an annual media awards event. CAN is a volunteer community resource whose sole objective is to collect and to share practical solutions to challenging social problems. CAN acts as a databank of information dealing with community social problems and publishes booklets dealing with critical community social problems.

Norman Glenn died in New York City on February 5, 1999 due to complications from a stroke. He is survived by his wife Roberta, two children from his first marriage, two stepchildren and five grandchildren.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Norman R. Glenn Papers spans the years 1933 to1998. The collection contains two scrapbooks, correspondence, and publications.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Norman R. Glenn donated his papers in 1996 and 1998 to the Library of American Broadcasting, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Linda M. Machado, February 1999

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Lizzie Nolan, January 2012.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection is organized as three series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence and Related Materials, 1938-1996 (five folders)

This series contains correspondence and related materials from Broadcasting magazine, Sponsor magazine and Community Action Network.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Sales Presentation for Broadcasting, "Editorial Character", 1938 series 1box 1folder 1
Memorandum from Norman Glenn re: Research on Early Beginnings of a Broadcast Association, June 29, 1981 series 1box 1folder 2
Note from Bob Gardner to Norman Glenn; Cover Sheet to "Marketing and Media Decisions Ratecard 15", July 2, 1986; October 1981 series 1box 1folder 3
Progress Report for the Community Action Network from Norman Glenn to the Executive and Advisory Board, Volunteers and Contributors, March 21, 1996 series 1box 1folder 4
Letter from Judd Choler to Tom Dawson forwarded to Norman Glenn. Attached is Sponsor's 1957 Trade Paper Advertising Contest. -- Attached is Sponsor's 1957 Trade Paper Advertising Contest., October 1995 series 1box 1folder 5

Series 2: Publications, 1940-1998 and undated (1.75 linear feet)

This series contains publications from Sponsor magazine, Community Action Network and article clippings. Included are bound volumes of Sponsor magazine (1946-1964), two issues of Frequency Modulation (1946), the Sponsor publication, "40-Year Album of Pioneer Radio Stations (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s) Part Two Radio Stations", 20 issue-specific pamphlets from CAN, three bound volumes of US Radio (v1-3), bound volumes of Sponsor Magazine (1946-1964) and an MA thesis by William Arthur Nelson entitled, "An Analysis of the Editorials of Sponsor, 1946-1955".

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
"The Journal of Frequency Modulation", March 1946 series 2box 1folder 6
"Frequency Modulation Business", March 1946 series 2box 1folder 7
Sponsor -- "Radio is Getting Bigger", April 7, 1950 series 2box 1folder 8
Sponsor -- "TV Dictionary/Handbook for Sponsors", 1951 and 1955 series 2box 1folder 9
Sponsor -- "All Media Evaluation Study" - annotated, 1954 series 2box 1folder 10
Sponsor -- "All Media Evaluation Study", 1954 series 2box 1folder 11
Magazine article, "BPA: Highlights of Chicago Convention", November 9, 1957 series 2box 1folder 12
Article, "Announcing Sponsor's First Annual tV/Radio Trade Paper Advertising Awards, undated series 2box 1folder 13
Sponsor -- "The Frey Report" (2 copies), November 9, 1957 series 2box 1folder 14
Sponsor -- "Timebuyers of the US/1961" (2 copies), 1961 series 2box 1folder 15
Sponsor -- "40-Year Album of Pioneer Radio Stations (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s) - Part Two Radio Stations", 1962 series 2box 1folder 16
Sponsor -- Q&A Brochure, "Some Answers to Key questions Showing Why Sponsor is Your Outstanding Advertising Buy" (2 copies), undated series 2box 1folder 17
Sponsor -- "5-City TV/Radio Directory" (1965 copy is annotated), 1963, 1965 series 2box 1folder 18
Sponsor -- "TV Dictionary/Handbook for Sponsors, 1951, 1955 series 2box 1folder 19
Community Action Network (CAN) Pamphlets, December 4, 1998 and undated series 2box 1folder 20
Community Action Network (CAN) Pamphlets, undated series 2box 1folder 21

Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1933-1943 (two scrapbooks)

This series contains two scrapbooks. One scrapbook contains clippings of advertisements regarding Broadcast Advertising, 1937-1943. The second scrapbook contains clippings regarding radio station WLS in Chicago (the Prairie Farmer Station), 1933-1936.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Separated Material

Bound volumes of Sponsor magazine (1946-1964) and three bound volumes of US Radio (1957-1961) are shelved in the Library of American Broadcasting's periodicals section.