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.