Cheril Lee

Reporter/Anchor

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.  

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Arts
6:27 am
Sat March 3, 2012

The Girls in the Band

The 7th Annual Omaha Film Festival begins runs next Wednesday through Sunday at the Great Escape Cinema 16.  Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee has the story of the documentaries selected for the festival.  It’s called The Girls in the Band…

Education
5:06 am
Fri March 2, 2012

LB 1144 promotes career academies for Nebraska

Senator Brad Ashford introduced LB 1144 in the legislature.

He says the bill is part of the education priority package of bills that will be voted on by the legislature in the next few weeks.  Senator Ashford says the bill supports and encourages the creation of career academies for Nebraska. 

He says a career academy is a stand alone educational school that would provide courses and a pathway to employment for those students who do not seek a traditional college education.  

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Arts
1:11 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Give a Damn?

The 2012 Omaha Film Festival begins next Wednesday and runs five days at the Great Escape Cinema 16.  Dan Parris is one of the documentary filmmakers.  Parris will be in attendance for the screening of his film, Give a Damn.  With the story, here’s Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee...

General News
5:06 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Omaha DID produces a study that looks at ways to maximize downtown parking

Joe Gudenrath, Executive Director for Omaha’s Downtown Improvement District, says downtown parking has been an issue for residents, visitors and business owners for a number of years.  

A little over a year ago, the DID decided to conduct a study of the current public parking system. 

Gudenrath says it examines the current parking conditions to see how the city can better maximize use of the existing parking assets.

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Arts
12:42 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Andrew Bird: Fever Year screens next week at the 2012 Omaha Film Festival

The Great Escape Cinema 16 is the venue for the 2012 Omaha Film Festival.  The festival kicks off March 7th.  Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee joins us now with the details on one of the featured documentaries…

General News
5:06 am
Wed February 29, 2012

11th Annual Malcolm X Festival takes place next week at UNO

UNO’s Department of Black Studies is hosting its 11th annual Malcolm X Festival Wednesday, March 7th and Thursday, March 8th.

Peggy Jones, Assistant Professor in the Black Studies Department, says this year’s theme is “Juveniles and Justice: Law and the Prison Industrial Complex.”  She says the two-day event will feature a mix of presenters and topics, including poverty, youth and the law. 

Jones says Ameena Fort-Matthews is the guest speaker.  Fort-Matthews was featured in the documentary film, “The Interrupters.”

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Arts
12:59 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Hard Times: Lost on Long Island screens at the Omaha Film Festival next week

Nick and Regina Puccio
By Julia Willoughby Nason

The 7th annual Omaha Film Festival runs March 7th through the 11th.  All movies will be screened at the Great Escape Cinema 16.  Today, Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee introduces us to the documentary film Hard Times: Lost on Long Island…  

Education
5:06 am
Tue February 28, 2012

According to a new Bellevue University Study: 1 in 3 Americans struggle to get by, consider school

A recent survey done by Bellevue University shows 2 out of 3 people who don’t have a degree are thinking about going back to school. 

Dr. Mary Hawkins, President of Bellevue University, says the purpose of the study was to understand the thoughts, motives and concerns of adults who have thought about going back to college and why they aren’t doing so. 

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Arts
1:41 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

The 2012 Omaha Film Festival kicks off next week

The Omaha Film Festival runs March 7th through the 11th at the Great Escape Cinema 16.  The Festival will screen several documentaries next week, including Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.  Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee introduces us to the filmmakers…

General News
5:06 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Salvation Army's Tree of Lights Campaign raises more than $3 million

More than $3 million was raised during the Omaha Salvation Army’s 2011 Tree of Lights Campaign. 

Joanne Bemis is the Divisional Director of Development. She says last year, the Salvation Army assisted more than 170,000 people and she anticipates the need increasing this year.  

The Salvation Army has more than 20 social service programs, serving families from teens to senior citizens. Bemis says 100% of the money raised during the campaign goes to support these programs.

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