KIOS-FM

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

The Omaha Press Club’s most recent Noon Forum centered on Education in Nebraska, specifically the debate between school choice and charter schools.

The Metropolitan Utilities District is working to replace 354 miles of cast iron gas mains by the year 2027.

Three students and one teacher from Benson High Magnet School will be traveling overseas next month for a robotics competition.

A recent study published in the “Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency,” indicates positive correlations between head injuries in childhood and delinquent behavior later in life.

Hot Weather Safety Tips

Jul 20, 2017

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reminds people to be careful during hot weather by taking some safety precautions.

The Utility Line Program at Metropolitan Community College prepares students to enter the power line lineman industry.

Rob Dickson, Executive Director of Information Management Services at Omaha Public Schools, says about 18 months ago, OPS was looking at projects for its two turnaround programs at Wakonda and Kennedy Elementary Schools.

Since the first week of May, Dr. Jeffrey Gold has been serving as chancellor for both UNMC and UNO.

SkillsUSA is a student organization open to all high school students.  Omaha Public Schools’ Career Center has anywhere between 120-150 students participating in any given year.

Voices for Children recently released a data snapshot focused on the disparities among races and ethnicities of kids who enter the juvenile justice system and the outcomes they face.

The Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities is offering its Urban Thinkers Campus 2.0 in August.

Fireworks/Gun Amnesty Day set for Saturday

Jul 5, 2017

The Omaha Police Department will be hosting a Metro Area Fireworks/Gun Amnesty Day on Saturday, July 8th from 9 until 2 for those who have fireworks or guns they would like to dispose of.

UNMC is currently seeking 20 women who have new breast cancer diagnoses and live in rural areas to take part in an Internet support program.

Summer means vacation for a lot of people in the United States.  Some people opt to road trip across the country while others will fly to international destinations.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska state senator who called for an overhaul of the state flag is turning to the internet to come up with a possible new look.

The Salvation Army opens its cooling stations when outside temperatures reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit or when the air temperature is above 90 degrees for two consecutive days.

New this year, Ballet Nebraska will start its 2017-2018 season with its mixed repertory program Momentum.

DIBS stands for Delivering Infinite Bookshelves.  The program encourages kids to read a book every night for fun while they’re out of school.

As the Greatest Show on Dirt continues this week, AAA-The Auto Club Group want to remind everyone that if you’re having car trouble, you can obtain free roadside assistance.

This weekend, Westfair in Council Bluffs will be the site of the Antique Spectacular.

Summer weather offers lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.  Fresh air and sunshine are great.  Unfortunately, with the outdoors also comes ticks sometimes.

The Fine Lines Writing Summer Camp returns for its 18th year next week.  All workshops will take place in the UNO campus’ Ballroom and will be broken up by age and interest.

The Urban League of Omaha’s Girls Summer STEAM Academy focuses on exposing underserved, underprivileged girls of color to career fields in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Arts and Math.

OPS Pension Shortfall

Jun 14, 2017

Omaha Public Schools will need $15.5 million to make up a deficit in its pension plan.  That’s according to a recent article in the Omaha World Herald.

The Cornhusker State Games is Nebraska’s Olympics. 

As we head deeper into warmer weather, the possibility for severe weather including thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes is on the rise.

The Omaha Summer Arts Festival kicks off today and is held on Farnam Street, alongside the Gene Leahy Mall.

The Munroe-Meyer Garden Walk is set for this Sunday and will feature four private gardens in West Omaha.

On August 21st a total solar eclipse will occur. 

Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing starts July 6th and runs Thursdays through August 10th. 

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