Gloria Penner Papers

Women’s Museum of California Library & Archives

Gloria Penner Papers

Collection Overview:

Title: Gloria Penner Papers

Accession Number: AC-022

Prepared by: Amalia Cristiano

Head Archivist: Julia Friedman

Date Acquired: Roughly 2013

Date Processed: April 6, 2017

Location: Women’s Museum of California San Diego, CA

Language: Collection material is in English

Extent: Three boxes


Administrative Information:

Access Restrictions: Open to research

Use restrictions: None


Historical Note

Gloria Penner was a pioneering news broadcaster who served for KPBS-TV San Diego for over fifty years. Penner was a trailblazer for women in television news, receiving numerous awards for her thorough and precise work. Penner held her own next to her male colleagues; she covered news events for operations such as Operation Silversword, a Navy-Marine two-day drill on Maui involving 10,000 men, as the only woman with the largest amphibious landing exercise since World War II.[1]

Brief History of Gloria Penner

Gloria Penner was a TV host, producer, and journalist for over fifty years. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brooklyn College in 1952 and a Masters in English from Syracuse University in 1955. Penner served as the Director of Public Affairs for KPBS-TV San Diego beginning in 1972 until 2009. She began her career at KPBS in 1969 as the Director of Community Relations. Prior to her work in San Diego, Penner worked for NBC-TV Network News in 1968. From 1964-1968 Penner worked for the Hawaii State Legislature as a writer, publicist, and researcher. She also worked for the Hawaii Republican Party as a writer in 1964. Penner served as an Editorial Staff Assistant in 1963 for the Honolulu Star Bulletin and in 1962 worked as the Chief Speechwriter for Ben Dillingham, running for the U.S. Senate. Also in 1962 Penner worked for Shiseido Cosmetics and Honolulu Savings and Loan as on-air talent for television commercials. Prior to that, Penner was Co-Producer, Writer, and Commentator for Kula Radio in Honolulu. From 1959-1961, Penner worked as a Political Liaison for Dave Garroway on the Today Show for NBC News in Washington, D.C. From 1958-1959 she worked as a Researcher, Writer, and Assistant Producer-Director for the Television Division of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. From 1956-1957 Penner was a Research and Production Assistant for the program “Housewives Protection League” for KCBS Radio in San Francisco. Prior to her first radio job, Penner was an English and Speech Teacher at Eastwood High School in Syracuse, New York from 1953-1956. Throughout her career, Gloria Penner received countless awards and nominations for her excellent work in journalism and service to the community.[2]

Summary of the Collection:

The Gloria Penner collection consists of three boxes. The collection contains historical material documenting Penner’s Curricula Vitae; Correspondence; Public Programming; Program Guides; Newspaper Articles; Press Releases; Proposal for TV program; and awards Penner received for her work in journalism and broadcast television.


Container List: Box and Folder Material:

Box 1:
Box 1 consists of seven folders, each containing various documents related to Gloria Penner.

Folder 1:

Folder 1 contains Gloria Penner’s Curricula Vitae, spanning from 1953 to 1972.

We also find a nomination from Susan G. Piper, Community Relations Assistant for the KPBS Stations and the 3rd Vice President of San Diego Women in Communications, Inc., for Gloria Penner for the 1973 Annual Matrix Award for the San Diego Professional Chapter of Women in Communications.[3] The letter outlines Penner’s journalistic qualities and personal character.

An outline of Penner’s community local programming for KPBS in 1972 leading up to the Republican National Convention with the dates, times, and a short description of each guest Penner interviewed for the show.[4]

Folder 2:

Folder 2 contains another outline of Penner’s local programming from December of 1972 to March of 1973.

In this folder we also find the cover to “A Journalist’s Journalist” and a letter from Gloria Penner to John Lepman, President of Jasper & Smith Mailing House thanking him and his company for a pleasant association and cooperation with KPBS.


Folder 3:

Folder 3 contains a memo from Alice Blankfort, a newspaper journalist, thanking Gloria Penner for showing her and her son around the KPBS Station.

After the memo we see the article written in Star News about Gloria Penner and her TV program.

Folder 3 also contains a thank-you letter to Gloria Penner from Gordon C. Luce, the President of San Diego Federal Savings and Loan Association for her service to the community.

Another letter is from Jo Higman of the AAUW pledging membership to KPBS for their public service.

Following the two letters is an article about Gloria Penner’s prominence on local TV in the Blade-Tribune.

Also in Folder 3 we have a handwritten letter from Howard B. Rountree to Gloria Penner pointing out a journalistic mistake made on one of her programs. Directly following this is a short response from Penner to Rountree thanking him for his letter.

Folder 3 also contains a thank-you note from the Evening Tribune to Gloria, although it does not specify what it is thanking Gloria for.

The last item in Folder 3 is a letter of gratitude to Gloria Penner for her program on the Old Globe Theatre by William B. Eaton, Director of Public Relations at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.

Folder 4:

Folder 4 contains only the proposal for the TV program Struggle for the Tidelands, detailing the controversy over the increasing urbanization and industrialization of San Diego against many residents’ wishes.


Folder 5:

Folder 5 contains a letter of nomination for Gloria Penner for the Matrix Award for 1973 by John D. Summerfield, General Manager of the KPBS Stations. This letter details her accomplishments, leadership, and other professional activities in four pages.

Folder 6:

Folder 6 contains the Program Guide for KPBS TV FM for April of 1971. It also contains the Program Guide for KPBS TV FM for October 1972

Folder 6 contains a sheet detailing Direct Mail, or a summary of the number of memberships to KPBS that were pledged throughout 1971.

Folder 6 also contains a one-page “Financial Summary” detailing the increase in the number of KPBS members from 1970-71 until May 10, 1972. Following this summary is one page titled “Other Information” with a list of the samples of letters used in solicitation procedures including: four renewal letters sent monthly, beginning a month prior to membership expiration; thank you for renewing; thank you for your membership pledge; thank you for your additional donation; thank you for your contribution (under $15 membership); and please honor your pledge.

 This folder also contains a one page “Program Guide”, briefly outlining what the KPBS Program Guides are and what they accomplish.

The next item in Folder 6 is one page titled “Pledge Nights” detailing the number of pledges made during the period of July 18, 1971 through May 21, 1972.

Folder 6 also contains a page titled “Membership Announcements”, which describes how many membership announcements are broadcast each night and how they are coordinated between the TV and FM.

Folder 6 contains a letter to Gloria Penner from John W. Macy Jr., the President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington D.C. congratulating Penner for the role she played in bringing the Second Annual Public Television Special Recognition Development Award to KPBS.

Folder 6 contains a letter from Jackie Janke from the University of California, San Diego, congratulating Penner on her award for KPBS’ increase in membership.

Also contains a press release for the “Ballot ‘72” a public program with in-depth election coverage for the month of October. The press release includes program dates and a short description of each guest who will be interviewed.

Folder 6 contains a Program Proposal for a KPBS Program entitled “Here They Come, Ready or Not”, a half-hour color TV and audio document of events in San Diego for the preparation of the Republican National Convention. The proposal includes a one and half page background and description on how San Diego should prepare itself for the upcoming Convention. The proposal also details the scope of how in-depth the program will be, as well as the “treatment” or the tone of the piece. In addition, a paragraph detailing the “Auxiliary Benefits” is included, as well as a “Proposed Budget.”

This folder also contains a “Biographical Sketch” of Neil Morgan, a columnist for the San Diego Evening Tribune since 1950.

Folder 6 also contains a page titled “List of KPBS Film Equipment”, which details all of the camera, sound, lighting, editing, and television equipment.

Other items in Folder 6 include newspaper articles from 1972 detailing the upcoming Republican National Convention and how San Diego is preparing. The articles are largely written by Neil Morgan, some of them being editorial as well as news pieces.

Folder 6 also contains a letter from Gerald R. Smith, the Area Coordinator of the National Socialist White People’s Party, threatening an attack on a Jewish group.

The last items in Folder 6 is the “Convention Update”, a description of the broadcast date, time, guest, and subject of the programs on KPBS leading up to the Republican National Convention.


Folder 7:

Folder 7 contains a Program Guide for KPBS for Tuesday the 20th, Wednesday the 21st, and Thursday the 22nd (month and year unknown).

Folder 7 also contains a letter to John D. Summerfield from Kriss Beveridge discussing the honor that will be given to Gloria Penner for her work and detailing her accomplishments and worthy qualities.

The last item in Folder 7 is a KPBS Program Guide for December of 1973.


Miscellaneous Items:

Other items in Box 1 not in folders include a book titled Who’s Who Among San Diego Women” by Helen Reddy, 1982-1983 Edition. Lane and Associates, Inc. ILUT Publications.

Two nametags:
1.) Gloria E. Penner
Director of Public Affairs 
KPBS-TV, Channel 15

2.) Gloria Penner
Director of Public Affairs
The KPBS Stations

Also contains three ribbons and a press tag:

  • A Gloria Penner KPBS San Diego Press Club Tag
  • Honorary Committee (yellow)
  • Board of Directors, First Place (blue)
  • Third Place (white)


Box 2:

This box solely contains awards given to Gloria Penner for her work

1.) San Diego Magazine, “50 People to Watch” 2005, Award to Gloria Penner
Radio 8 TV News Ass’N of So. Calif.
“Best Original News Analysis”
Div. A
“That’s 30”

2.) The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
San Diego Chapter—1974
Gloria Penner
“San Diego Showcase Troposphere”

3.) Society of Professional Journalism, San Diego Pro Chapter
First Place
Radio Broadcast
Gloria Penner

4.) First Place
Talk/Interview Story
“Editor’s Roundtable: Labor vs. Business, City Budget Deficit Impact of Supercenters”
Hank Crook, Gloria Penner
2011 Journalism Awards Contest

5.) Birthday Poem
“A Day in the Life of Gloria Penner”
April 17, 1986
From Pat Fuiu 

6.) Theta Sigma Phi Certification of Membership for Gloria Penner
May 23, 1971
San Diego Chapter

7.) San Diego Press Club
Best Talk/Interview Program
Gloria Penner
Susan Golding, Mayor
Letter of Gratitude to Gloria Penner for 23 years of service to the community of San Diego
February 23, 1993


Box 3

This box also solely contains various awards Gloria Penner received

1.) San Diego Business Journal
Presents the Manpower temporary services San Diego Women who Mean Business
1998 Award
Gloria Penner-Snyder

2.) Radio 8 TV News Ass’N of So. Calif.
Best Original News Commentary or News Analysis
Div. A
“Newsweek San Diego”

3.) San Diego Psychological Association
The 1997
Media Award
Gloria Penner
Host of These Days in San Diego
KPBS Radio
In Recognition of your contribution to the Field of Mental Health

4.) Women’s International Center
Living Legacy Award
Gloria Penner Snyder

5.) Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Development Award—1972
Mrs. Gloria E. Penner

6.) San Diego Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
Certificate of Award Presented to Gloria Penner Snyder for Excellence in Television
Program Production
19th of October 1990

7.) San Diego Press Club
Journalism Awards 2000
Harold Keen Award
Gloria Penner

8.) California Teachers Association
The John Swett Award
San Diego
For Locally Produced Program Series
“These Days in San Diego with Gloria Penner” during “September Series on Education”

9.) National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Gold Circle
The Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Gloria Penner
2011 Gold Circle Inductee
For 50 Years of Outstanding Contribution to the Broadcast Community



[1] Gloria Penner Curricula Vitae, 1961, Box 1, Folder 1, Women’s Museum of California Archives, San Diego, CA.

[2] Gloria Penner “Curricula Vitae” (1953-1972) Box 1, Folder 1, The Women’s Museum of California Archives, San Diego, CA.