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

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.

AAA and the Auto Club Group Safety Foundation’s Tow to Go program begins today and runs through Monday morning. 

Omaha’s Union Station was recently named as a National Historic Landmark.

Dr. Mark Celinscak, Canadian native, is the Blumkin Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies at UNO.  In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Dr. Celinscak was invited to give a give a keynote address at the Vancouver Holocaust Centre. With more, here’s Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee...

Omaha Children’s Museum’s newest temporary exhibit helps introduce engineering, math and creative concepts to young learners through play.

For 100 years the Girl Scouts have been selling their well-known cookies.  To commemorate this special anniversary, the Girl Scouts have released a brand new flavor: s’mores.

The Development of the Omaha Riverfront was the subject of this month’s Omaha Press Club Noon Forum.

Omaha-Council Bluffs Area statistics show13,094 kids in grades 3-8 and 11 in Douglas and Sarpy counties weren’t reading on their Grade Level in the 2014-2015 school year.

An upswing in Norovirus cases in Douglas County

Jan 26, 2017

The Douglas County Health Department has investigated nine outbreaks of norovirus since the middle of December.  Norovirus is highly contagious and is often referred to as “the stomach flu.”

SBA’s 2017 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge is underway.

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, in partnership with UNL’s Public Policy Center, has received a $400,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Binti Hussein is a junior at Bryan High School and is studying photography at the OPS Career Center. She recently stopped by the KIOS studios to talk with News Director Cheril Lee about about what drew her to photography and why she loves taking pictures. 

The Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, was started in 2014 as a direct response to the alarming STD rates Douglas County had had for more than two decades.

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