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

The Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency is asking for the public’s assistance in ranking transportation scenarios for particular project areas.

Omaha has 11,000 ash trees in its parks, on the right of ways the city maintains and on public property.

The Center for Preparedness Education is hosting a two-day Preparedness Symposia and Nebraska Biocontainment Unit Training on June 14th and 15th at the Scott Conference Center.

Pirates and Mermaids: Voyage to Creature Cove is the newest exhibit on view at the Omaha Children’s Museum.

The Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities will receive a grant for $125,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The First Episode Psychosis Pilot Program aims to provide young people, ages 15-25, with an early intervention and optimal outcomes.

Beveridge Magnet Middle School staff, students and community participated in a groundbreaking ceremony recently to celebrate the school’s renovation project.

Strokes, chronic leg ulcers and blood clots are just a few of the complications caused by sickle cell disease.  Those who have the disease are also more susceptible to infections. 

Find It, Fix It, Fund It is an initiative from the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition and the National Center for Healthy Housing committed to eliminating lead poisoning.

The University of Nebraska’s Board of Regents meets tomorrow at 9:30 starting with committee meetings. The board meeting follows at 1:30.

Nebraska Medicine has been named to the 100 Great Hospitals List by Becker’s Hospital Review for the third year in a row.

Sheila Hicks: Material Voices is on view at Joslyn Art Museum June 5th through September 4th.

Loessfest 2016 kicks off Saturday, May 28th with a Run Loess Half Marathon and continues through Sunday, June 5th with a variety of concerts and family-friendly activities.

The Omaha Press Club’s Noon Forum this month focused on Human Trafficking. More than a quarter of a million people are trafficked in the U.S. every year.

The Creighton Global Initiative recently awarded $1.5 million to 30 different university projects.

Hello Code is Omaha’s first free code school. The one month program is an introductory course for adults on web development.

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and internationally recognized pianist Kathryn Stott perform in recital at the Holland Center tomorrow evening at 7:30.

At yesterday’s OPPD board meeting, OPPD management made two major recommendations.

For those looking to make smarter energy choices, OPPD offers its Cool Smart program. 

For those looking to make smarter energy choices, OPPD offers its Cool Smart program. 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The commission that oversees Nebraska's state tourism agency has scheduled a meeting to discuss the job of its embattled director in the wake of a blistering state audit.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center’s Transport Team was recently awarded “Gold Standard” accreditation for safety and quality.

Donald Trump won the Nebraska primary last night with 60% of the vote.

A study released last month indicated that the quality of medical treatment for mental disorders in the VA exceeds that of the private sector.

The Child Vision Collaborative began in February 2015. 

Alfonza W. Davis Middle School in Omaha has been named a 2016 US Department of Education Green Ribbon School’s Sustainability Award Recipient.

Dr. Ali Khan, Dean of the College of public Health at UNMC, will present the next Omaha Science Café on Tuesday, May 10th.

The Omaha Farmers Market starts this weekend.  The Saturday market is held in the Old Market downtown while the Sunday market takes place at Aksarben Village, at 67th and Center Streets. 

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha produces a non-partisan voters’ guide meant to inform people about the various candidates that are running for office.

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