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

Open enrollment season is here for both the National Health Insurance Marketplace as well as for employers.

Miller Park Elementary School, in the OPS school district, has enjoyed a 100% attendance rate for their parent/guardian report card conferences for the past seven years.

Kids will be trick-or-treating next Monday night and Jason Kerkman, Safe Kids Nebraska Coordinator for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, wants them to be safe when they do.

Metropolitan Community College’s CDL Class-A Truck Driving Program now takes just six weeks to complete.

Omaha Press Club’s most recent Noon Forum featured a congressional debate between Democrat Brad Ashford and Republican Don Bacon. 

Tonight, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency is holding a public meeting to gather input for its 2050 Long Range Transportation Plan. 

OPS spent two years working on the Human Growth & Development curriculum. 

Larianna Parrott is in the 11th grade at North High School.  From all appearances, she’s just your typical junior but as KIOS News Director Cheril Lee found out, appearances can be deceiving… 

The Kitchen Council is a kitchen incubator for food startups that helps them grow their products on a larger scale.

The ICAN Men’s Mega Mind Meetup is an informal gathering of business leaders with a unique format.

The Omaha Children’s Museum’s kid-friendly haunted house, Cobweb Castle, is open throughout the month of October.

UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology will host the 2016 International Conference on Web Intelligence and the International Conference on Brain Informatics & Health, Wednesday, October 13th through Saturday, October 16th at the Hilton Omaha.

On November 8th, voters will face a statewide ballot issue, identified as referendum #426.

Food Day is a national celebration focused on sustainable food, local food and healthy food policy.

UNO has been offering a series of Debate Watch events that started with the first Presidential Debate.

Early Voting Begins

Oct 6, 2016

The Douglas County Election Commission mailed approximately 42,000 ballots on Monday for early voting by mail.

OPS Superintendent Mark Evans announced Monday night that he’s retiring from his position next June.  Yesterday (Tuesday), he sat down with KIOS News Director Cheril Lee to talk about his decision…

John Christensen is the first UNO alumnus to serve as Chancellor of the university. 

Data from the Pew Research Center indicates Millennials make up more than a third of the nation’s potential electorate but their voting participation is the lowest of any group.

Dr. Cheng Wang, assistant professor in UNMC’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recently received a $40,000 grant from Colleen’s Dream Foundation to continue his work in developing an early detection test for ovarian cancer. 

In May of 2015, the Nebraska Unicameral passed a bill that banned the death penalty in the state.

The Center for Public Affairs Research at UNO recently released the results of the 2015 American Community Survey.

The purpose of the IN the Neighborhood Conference is to strengthen the quality of life in the Iowa and Nebraska metro areas by strengthening neighborhoods. 

“Strength and Motivation for Life’s Challenges” is the theme of the 19th annual Omaha Women’s Health & Wellness Conference.

Basetrack Live is a multimedia documentary theatre production.  The show will be onstage at the Orpheum Theatre, Friday, October 7th at 8:00 p.m.

UNO’s first theatrical production of the 2016-2017 season is “Shakespeare’s Dog.”

The purpose of the Heartland Workers Center’s Get out the Vote campaign is to increase voter turnout among Latinos in South Omaha. 

Nebraska students in 5th through 12th grades are invited to submit an entry into the seventh annual “Through Our Words: Creative Writing Contest in Spanish.”

On Wednesday evening, Omaha Public Schools was informed that a 5-year-old-student from Field Club Elementary School had not arrived home as of 6:00 p.m.  

The Visiting Nurse Association will begin its Flu Immunization Clinics starting next Monday, September 12th.