Cheril Lee

Reporter/Anchor

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

Salvation Army Omaha’s17th annual DJ’s Hero Awards Luncheon takes place Tuesday, May 10th at 11:45 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Girls Incorporated of Omaha will hold a community open house on Saturday, May 15th to unveil its new $15 million health and wellness center expansion at its North Omaha facility.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is working to educate people about how 9-1-1 works and what it can and cannot do.

Omaha Public Power District released its 2015 annual report this month.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency is seeking public feedback on its newly released prioritized list of top projects for MAPA funding in the Fiscal Year 2017-2022 Transportation Improvement Program.

This Thursday, the Omaha Police Foundation will present its 16th annual Omaha Police Officer of the Year Awards.

Metropolitan Community College is hosting its fifth annual Nebraska Entrepreneur Educator Workshop tomorrow from 9 to 2 on the second floor of the Do Space building at 72nd and Dodge. 

The City of Omaha Planning Department’s Housing and Community Development Division celebrated Community Development Week by presenting the 10th annual Community Excellence Awards.

Conservationist and Author Terry Tempest Williams, will give the 2016 Ross Horning Lecture at the Joslyn Art Museum’s Witherspoon Tuesday, April 12th.

Martha the Dog, Pete the Cat and Lyle Lyle Crocodile will all make an appearance at the Omaha Public Library’s Saddlebrook Branch this Sunday.

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