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

Heartland Hope Mission received $55,000 in grant money from the United Way of the Midlands.

Artists from all over the world are given the opportunity to apply for The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts’ artist-in-residency program.  Each program lasts about three months. With more, here’s Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee…

Dr. Sam Sanderson, Research Associate Professor in UNMC’s Pharmaceutical Sciences department, recently received a $2.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

A third case of travel-related Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, was reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Motor vehicle related fatalities are rising in the state according to preliminary data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, is accepting public input on the Heartland 2050 Draft Action Plan through the end of the month.

United Way of the Midlands just received a $10,000 grant from the Kum & Go Company to help kids improve their reading skills.

The Visiting Nurse Association was awarded a $15,000 grant from Immanuel Vision Foundation to create a caregiver education program.

Omaha Performing Arts recently received an Art Works award of $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Why Growing Nebraska Matters is the first of six policy briefs in a new series focused on Economic Barriers that Block Nebraska’s Path to Job & Population Growth.

The theme of the Shelterbelt Theatre’s 2016-2017 season is By Local/Buy Local.  Their 24th season only includes playwrights from Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs.

Metropolitan Community College is offering noncredit beekeeping courses this summer.

The Omaha Police Department will host a Metro Area Fireworks/Gun Amnesty Day on Saturday, July 9th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) — A judge has overturned a Nebraska commission's decision to let a Colorado company use a well north of Mitchell to dispose of salty groundwater and chemical-laden fracking wastewater that result from oil and gas exploration and production.

The 4th of July weekend will be filled with celebrations. 

The Bank of the West Celebrates America concert takes place Friday, July 1st in Memorial Park.

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.

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