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

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.

Big Red Keno Science & Math Program awarded more than $70,000 to several OPS schools as well as two afterschool YMCA programs in Lincoln and schools in Norfolk and Fremont.

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents recently approved plans to establish the Center for Patient, Family and Community Engagement in Chronic Care Management.

Ann Marie Kudlacz, Executive Director of the Refugee Empowerment Center, spoke at this month’s Omaha Press Club’s Noon Forum.

On Wednesday, March 30th, Creighton University will present a talk that focuses on what happens to people who have been wrongly convicted once they are exonerated.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS, has set up a local work group to look at priorities for USDA conservation programs across the state.

This week, UNO is on spring break but many faculty, staff and students are participating in the university’s annual Seven Days of Service.

The Nebraska Science Festival returns for its 4th year April 15th through the 23rd with a whole host of events including a student expo at the Strategic Air & Space Museum, a 3-D Invent-a-thon and the WATER exhibit at KANEKO.

On Tuesday, March 22nd, Film Streams kicks off a new series called Science on Screen. 

Project Homeless Connect Omaha is looking for volunteers to work as one on one advocates for the homeless on April 1st.

Public input is being sought by the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, or MAPA, for the 2050 long range transportation plan.

Applications for admission to Creighton University have topped 10,000 for the first time in the school’s history.

AIM’s 2016 Infotec Event features a presentation by Theresa Payton, the first female Chief Information Officer for the White House.

The UNO Criss Library’s patron services staff had been talking for a while about doing something for the military members and civilian contractors from Offutt Air Force Base.

The National Weather Service is projecting a below normal risk for flooding in much of the western and northern portions of the Missouri River basin and a normal risk for flooding in the eastern portion of the basin.

Small businesses statewide are encouraged to take REAP’s small business needs assessment survey.

The Nebraska Democratic Caucus results were a pretty resounding victory for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. 

A public art project meant to celebrate the legacies of Omaha’s fallen police officers is based on a similar project in Chicago.

Rose White, Public Affairs Director for AAA Nebraska, says in the last 10 days, motorists in the state have seen a substantial jump in gas prices.

Father Daniel Hendrickson, president of Creighton University, was the guest speaker at February’s Omaha Press Club Noon Forum. Hendrickson started on July 1, 2015, succeeding Father Timothy Lannon.

The 2016 ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference takes place Wednesday, April 6th at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

KANEKO’s Great Minds Series continues on Thursday, March 3rd from 7 to 9 pm with a presentation from Tyrone Hayes.

An exhibit of the artwork of the late Kent Bellows will be on view at Creighton University’s Lied Art Gallery March 14th through April 14th.

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