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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Omaha Public Radio News
3:15 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Senator Nordquist introduces state-based health insurance marketplace

Senator Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha recently introduced LB 835 into the legislature.

The bill would create a state-based Nebraska health insurance marketplace.  Senator Nordquist says under the Affordable Care Act, each state is required to establish a healthcare exchange or the federal government will create one for them. 

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Omaha Public Radio News
3:37 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

The SOPA bill is meant to protect original digital and online content

Omaha, NE – Did your favorite website look different today? That's due to the outcry over the proposed SOPA bill. With more, here's Omaha Public Radio's Cheril Lee

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Omaha Public Radio News
5:12 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

3rd Annual At Ease Awareness Luncheon features Medal of Honor Recipient Sal Giunta

Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta, US Army, Retired

Omaha, NE – Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska presents its annual At Ease Luncheon on Monday, January 30th.

The event takes place at Omaha's CenturyLink Center. Bev Carlson is PR Director for LFS. She says At Ease is a program that provides therapeutic support and trauma treatment for active duty military, veterans and their families. Funds raised from the luncheon will go back into the program.

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Omaha Public Radio News
2:01 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton and Gov. Dave Heineman to speak at the Chamber's Annual Luncheon

Omaha, NE – The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual meeting luncheon on Wednesday, February 1st.

David Brown is Chamber President and CEO. He says awards that'll be given out at the luncheon include the Chairman's Award of Excellence and Volunteer of the Year. He says the meeting is for anyone who's interested in how communities grow and what Omaha needs to do to make sure there are enough jobs here for future generations.

Brown says Governor Dave Heineman is one of two guest speakers at this year's luncheon.

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Omaha Public Radio News
4:25 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

The Salvation Army continues its Tree of Lights campaign

Omaha, NE – The holiday season may be over, but the Salvation Army Tree of Lights campaign continues through the end of January.

The goal for the campaign is $3.1 million. To date, the Salvation Army has raised $2.8 million, 91% of the way to the goal.

Madeline Madden is Director of Annual Funds for the Salvation Army of Omaha. She says all the funds raised through the campaign go to support programs in the Omaha community.

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Omaha Public Radio News
4:21 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

MLK Day Essay Contest winners read their winning works on Monday

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Omaha, NE – Almost 300 children and teens submitted essays for the United Way of the Midlands' annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay Contest.

Kathy O'Hara, with the United Way of the Midlands, says the four first place winners will read their essays out loud on Monday in front of family and friends. She says the contest offers kids some recognition for speaking publicly about their dreams for our community.

O'Hara says the contest invites kids to lift their voice and advocate for things they would like to see in the community.

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Omaha Public Radio News
3:54 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Kids Count in Nebraska 2011 Report Highlights Importance of Early Childhood

Omaha, NE – Voices for Children in Nebraska has released its Kids Count in Nebraska 2011 Report.

Research Coordinator Melissa Breazile says the report focuses on the importance of investing in early childhood. She says the report is broken down into four key areas: health, education, safety and economic stability. Positive findings include an increase in the graduation rate and a decrease in the number of children living outside of their homes.

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Omaha Public Radio News
4:33 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Creighton celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

John Pierce is the Associate Vice President for Affirmative Action and Diversity Outreach at Creighton. He is also the chair of Creighton's MLK committee. Pierce says part of Creighton's mission is to focus on social justice and equality and respect for all individuals.

He says next week's celebration fits right in with that mission. The week begins with a Table Talk on Monday the 16th at 11:30 a.m.

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Omaha Public Radio News
4:35 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Radiation: Facts, Fantasies and Phobias the subject of tonight's Omaha Science Cafe

David Crouse, a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy at UNMC, is the guest speaker. He says issues related to radiation and radiation exposure have always been in the public eye. Crouse says there's a great deal of knowledge about radiation and its effects, but since radiation can't be seen, tasted or heard, the public is fearful of it.

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Omaha Public Radio News
3:14 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Ellis Hall's Tribute to Ray Charles takes place at the Holland Center on January 14th

Ellis Hall, Vocalist/Pianist

Omaha, NE – Vocalist and pianist Ellis Hall presents a Tribute to Ray Charles with the Omaha Symphony on Saturday, January 14th.

Once dubbed Charles' protege, Hall first met Ray in 2001 while he was playing at a local Christmas party. He gave Charles his CD and the two soon began a friendship that lasted until Charles' death in 2004.

Hall's performance in Omaha will feature some of Ray Charles' most popular songs including "Hit the Road Jack" and "Georgia on my Mind." Hall started learning piano in the third grade at the Perkins School for the Blind.

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