Cheril Lee

News Director

My broadcasting career began in the most unlikely of places…Okinawa, Japan.  I was interviewed one afternoon while I was in college and, on a lark, I asked if the TV station needed any volunteers.  They said they could use a weather person who would stick around for at least six months.  Two auditions and one meeting later, I was in front of the cameras Monday through Friday night, giving the weather forecast for the island. 

Did I mention that FEN was the ONLY American TV station on the island?  Well, let’s just say that I got to know what being a celebrity was like, really quickly.  Since I was the only civilian on an all-military newscast, I stood out just a little bit.  It was one of the best times of my life and I worked with eight different news anchors.  This taught me that every broadcaster has a different way of approaching the craft. 

After Japan, I made my way back across the ocean, by way of plane, to the great state of Mississippi.  While there, I anchored daily newscasts at a local station, Northland Cable News.  The station was located in Starkville, the home of Mississippi State University.  While there, I got to attend football games in the press box, which was quite cool until the day they tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that cheering was not allowed in the press box.  Oops.  Again, I learned a little something about retaining one’s professionalism in every situation. 

While in Mississippi, I also made appearances on other TV stations’ breakfast and lunch time shows, usually talking to the hosts about various plays I was appearing in onstage.

My next broadcasting gig was right here in Omaha at KVNO, Classical 90.7 where I became the News Director in 2000.  I remember that my first day was right in the middle of a fund drive.  The Program Director asked me if I wanted to jump in and pitch and I thought, “What the heck is pitching?”  I deferred, telling him I’d participate in the next one.  And participate I did.  While I was there, I did more than 20 fund drives.  Additionally, I anchored several daily newscasts, wrote, produced and delivered the Arts at 8:30 and at the end, hosted a two-hour on-air shift in addition to my other duties.  I learned a lot about classical composers, including the correct pronunciation of Dvorak.

After a decade at KVNO, I decided to pursue my Master’s Degree at UNO, so I left the station to take classes.  But it wasn’t long before the siren song of public radio lured me back.  I started working for KIOS in January of 2010 as a news anchor, reporter and on-air host.  The Saturday morning programs are among my favorites and I love talking with listeners who are as passionate about public radio as I am.

When I’m not talking on the airwaves, I love to act in community theatre productions, rock out to concerts and write.  Traveling has always been a passion of mine.  I’ve been to several countries, including Italy, Japan, Albania, Slovenia, England and my personal favorite, Ireland.  Up next, are the Dominican Republic, France and Scotland. 

Ever the optimist, you will usually hear a smile in my voice when I’m hosting.  It is my goal to be good company as you move through your day.  

Ways to Connect

Nebraska ranks 46th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for participation in the Summer Food Service Program.

The Iowa West Foundation’s Board of Directors approved more than $5 million in grants and initiatives for 19 nonprofits and government organizations in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing kicks off July 7th and runs six consecutive Thursdays through August 11th.  Concerts begin at 7:30 each evening on the permanent stage of The Pavilion at Turner Park.

Metropolitan Community College was awarded the annual Academy Curriculum Excellence Award for providing the best delivery of the CCNA Security Curriculum in the region.

Creighton University is normalizing its interprofessional programs through its new Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research, also known as CIPER.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center will undergo a transformational expansion.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2016 Kids Count Data Book yesterday.

Late last week, ConAgra Foods announced it will donate its corporate collection of approximately 600 original Currier & Ives prints to the Joslyn Art Museum.

With a heat advisory in effect until 7:00 this evening and a series of 90-plus degree days ahead, it’s important that people know the best ways to keep cool.

Nebraska has had the West Nile Virus since the early 2000s and in the first couple years, the numbers of people who got the virus were in the thousands.

The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts will present two new exhibits beginning tomorrow and running through September 17th.

When it’s 90 degrees or warmer for at least two consecutive days, the Salvation Army opens its community cooling centers.

KANEKO’s newest exhibition is called Storytelling and runs through August 27th.

Partnership 4 Kids was recently named the first No Excuses University Certified non-profit in the U.S.

The Emerald Ash Borer has arrived in Omaha

Jun 9, 2016

The US Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of Emerald Ash Borer in Ash trees that were removed from Pulaski Park, at 40th and G Streets, earlier this week.

Do Space is offering “The Summer of Invention” through an assortment of classes.

Last year, more than 24,000 people participated in the Omaha Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.  This year’s theme is On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

The new Active Commuting Toolkit is designed to help local businesses enable their employees to leave their cars at home and utilize healthier modes of transportation, when they can.

The Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency is asking for the public’s assistance in ranking transportation scenarios for particular project areas.

Omaha has 11,000 ash trees in its parks, on the right of ways the city maintains and on public property.

The Center for Preparedness Education is hosting a two-day Preparedness Symposia and Nebraska Biocontainment Unit Training on June 14th and 15th at the Scott Conference Center.

Pirates and Mermaids: Voyage to Creature Cove is the newest exhibit on view at the Omaha Children’s Museum.

The Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities will receive a grant for $125,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The First Episode Psychosis Pilot Program aims to provide young people, ages 15-25, with an early intervention and optimal outcomes.

Beveridge Magnet Middle School staff, students and community participated in a groundbreaking ceremony recently to celebrate the school’s renovation project.

Strokes, chronic leg ulcers and blood clots are just a few of the complications caused by sickle cell disease.  Those who have the disease are also more susceptible to infections. 

Find It, Fix It, Fund It is an initiative from the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition and the National Center for Healthy Housing committed to eliminating lead poisoning.

The University of Nebraska’s Board of Regents meets tomorrow at 9:30 starting with committee meetings. The board meeting follows at 1:30.

Nebraska Medicine has been named to the 100 Great Hospitals List by Becker’s Hospital Review for the third year in a row.

Sheila Hicks: Material Voices is on view at Joslyn Art Museum June 5th through September 4th.

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