Cheryl Wills is an Emmy award-winning journalist for Spectrum News New York 1. As the first African American woman to host a prime-time nightly newscast for the cable network, Cheryl anchors the Emmy-nominated broadcast Live at Ten, weeknights. Cheryl has been with NY1 since its launch in 1992 and is one of the station’s most recognizable journalists for breaking news and special coverage. She is also the talk show host of the weekly public affairs program, In Focus with Cheryl Wills, where she interviews the most powerful newsmakers and celebrities in the country.
Cheryl is also the acclaimed author of a series of books about her family’s transition from slavery to freedom in the United States. Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale, The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills, Emancipated: My Family’s Fight for Freedom and EMMA all chronicle her 3x great-grandfather’s heroic service as a member of the United States Colored Troops during The Civil War.
On March 25, 2011, Cheryl Wills made history as the first journalist invited to speak at the United Nations General Assembly Hall for The International Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade which was broadcast live around the world on UNTV.
Cheryl has been honored numerous times during her 30+ year journalism career from groups like The New York Press Club, The Newswomen’s Club of New York, The Associated Press, and she received a special medal from the United Nations Correspondents Association, personally presented to her by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. City & State Magazine hailed Cheryl as one of New York’s most “remarkable women” and Cheryl is one of the women profiled in the award winning 2020 book: She is Me: How Women Will Save the World.
Cheryl is most proud to be the Commander and Lifetime Descendant Member of the New York Chapter of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Colored Troops – a national organization of Civil War descendants who raise awareness about 200,000 black soldiers who bravely served during The Civil War. She is a graduate of the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.