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

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.

Dr. Tanya Morgan, Director of the Master of Public Health Program at Creighton University, says the American Public Health Association’s goal is to make the United States the healthiest nation in the world by 2030. 

The Visiting Nurse Association kicks off this year’s Senior Speaker Series Thursday, April 7th with a program called “Senior Living Options.”

A little over 56,000 voters will have to go to a new polling place starting with the 2016 Statewide Presidential Primary Election on May 10th.

Congressman Brad Ashford will speak at The College of St. Mary on Tuesday, April 5th about Advocacy & the Earth.

As the trees, weeds and grasses bloom and grow, so do allergies.  Dr. Jill Poole, Allergist with UNMC, says about 20 to 40% of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. 

Ballet Nebraska premieres its new frontier-themed ballet Go West! tonight at Joslyn Art Museum and Sunday at Iowa Western Community College’s Arts Center.

Research shows that if kids start voting when they’re 18, they are more likely to be lifelong voters.

The Nebraska Medicaid program has been selected to participate in the Federal Innovation Acceleration Program or IAP.

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