Outstanding TV journalism is synonymous with the name Cheryl Jennings. Behind the success is her heart, evident in her extensive service to the community of Marin and beyond.
Jennings began her career at KNBR radio in 1974. Moving to K101, she became the station’s first-ever female news director and the second female news director in the Bay market. She began working at KPIX TV while still on the radio! In 1979 she moved to KGO and rose from general assignment reporter to co-anchor to anchor. She also files special reports and hosts Beyond the Headlines, a community affairs program.
Cheryl pioneered in reporting on children’s issues, women’s rights and domestic violence, for which she has been recognized locally and nationally. In 1998, Cheryl won an Emmy for a show on caring for aging parents, and in 1996, another for a report on a camp for children with AIDS, and a third Emmy for a segment of the program Straight Talk N’ Teens—hosted by teens she trained and mentored.
In 2002, Cheryl received the Gracie Allen Award for “superior quality and stellar portrayal of the changing roles and concerns of women” for Behind Bars: Battered Women Who Kill Their Abusers. The program profiled women serving life terms for killing their abusive partners before the “battered woman’s syndrome” law was passed.
Jennings won another Emmy in 2005 for Beyond the Headlines, a program on youth and steroids featuring 49er’s Coach Bill Walsh. In 2004, The American Women in Radio and Television honored Cheryl with its KUDO Award for Best TV Public Affairs Program, Sunday on Seven. In 2007 Marin’s Search for the Cause against breast cancer included Cheryl in its “100 Magnificent Marin Women” tribute.
Cheryl also went to Kosovo twice. Her six-part series on the children of Kosovo earned her an Emmy nomination. In 2003, Cheryl co-founded “Pennies for Peace,” a campaign to help mend the ravages of war. “Pennies,” an offshoot of the Marin-based Roots of Peace, invites children to donate their change to help de-mine the playgrounds, soccer fields and schools in Afghanistan. Jennings reported on it from Afghanistan in 2005. This unique child-centered peace program was honored by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. San Rafael also recognized her work for the Roots of Peace Penny Campaign by declaring a “Cheryl Jennings Day” in April 2007.
The Marin Women’s Hall of Fame is honored to include Cheryl Jennings among its members.