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

Parenting University returns to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center this spring.

This month's OPS Student Spotlight focuses on Brett Hillabrand, a junior at Omaha Northwest High School.  Brett talks about his interest in studying finances, how he wishes he could participate in more sports and why it’s important to save rather than spend.   

  

  

On August 21st a total solar eclipse will occur.  Though these eclipses happen every 18 months, this one is special because the United States will be in its path of totality from coast to coast.

Joe Reardon, President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, will be the guest speaker Thursday at the Heartland 2050 Winter Summit.

Creighton University is holding a symposium this Thursday and Friday called 50 Years of Loving: Seeking Justice through Love and Relationships.

United Way of the Midlands is addressing the issue of food insecurity this week at a symposium on Wednesday morning at UNO.

The average credit score in the city of Omaha is 682.  The city ranks #10 in a list of large cities when it comes to high credit scores.  San Francisco is #1 with an average credit score of 712.

Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance started 10 years ago with one full-time employee, President & CEO Kara Eastman.

The Council Bluffs Wi-Fi Consortium recently announced the launch of its 3rd phase of B-Link, the Bluffs Community Wi-Fi project.

The College of St. Mary will hold two free presentations on Tuesday, March 21st, focused on a landmark Supreme Court ruling affirming students’ right of free speech.

The Women’s Fund of Omaha partnered with the Creighton Human Trafficking Initiative to develop a report focused on the Nebraska commercial sex market.

The Iowa West Foundation recently awarded Iowa Legal Aid’s Youth Link Project with a $28,000 grant.

On Tuesday night, search firm McPherson & Jacobson recommended three finalists for Omaha Public Schools’ next superintendent to the Board of Education.

Metropolitan Community College’s Re-Entry Assistance program serves the currently incarcerated and recently released populations to achieve education and training.

When you think of NASA, you don’t automatically think about snow. You probably think of space.

The National Children’s Advocacy Center recently released a position paper about the declining rates of child sexual abuse throughout the country.

Benson High School senior Jordan Fashing talks with KIOS News Director Cheril Lee about why she joined JROTC, how writing poetry helps her cope and her love for the library...

The Visiting Nurse Association is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its annual Art & Soup fundraiser this weekend.

Midtown Vision 2050 is committed to accelerate the next phase of midtown Omaha’s revitalization.

Easter Seals Nebraska is currently holding registration for its summer camp. Jami Biodrowski, Program Director for Camp, Respite & Recreation, says the camp serves people with any disability, from 5 years old and up. 

Mayor Jean Stothert will present the annual State of the City via Facebook Live today at 2:00 p.m.

On Monday, February 20th, there will be a Light the Way event at 5:30.

Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art is the newest exhibit at the Joslyn Art Museum.

The new Iowa West Field House opened last month and is located in the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

Cheril Lee, KIOS’ News Director, sat down with OPS’ Superintendent Mark Evans last week to talk about an upcoming topping out event and progress at Nathan Hale Middle School.

  

  

In honor of National Engineering Week, February 19th through the 25th, OPPD’s Society of Engineers is hosting its annual Marshmallow Challenge.

KIOS News Director Cheril Lee sat down with OPS’ Superintendent Mark Evans last week to talk about the superintendent search and school vouchers.

  

  

UNO’s College of Information, Science & Technology is offering an IT Academy Thursday, February 16th and Friday, February 17th.

Taxes are due this year on April 18th instead of the 15th since the 15th is a Saturday and the 17th is Emancipation Day, which is celebrated in Washington DC.

The Startup Collaborative is a fellowship organization dedicated to radically improving the odds of a startup’s success.

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