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May Lee (born March 28, 1966) is the host of STAR TV's The May Lee Show. A second generation Korean American, Lee faced gender discrimination and anti-Asian bias early in her career, and spent the 1980s moving between local broadcasters. However, she reached a turning point in 1995, when she joined CNN; she first worked as a correspondent in Tokyo and Hong Kong, and later became the network's first female anchor of Korean descent.[1][2]

Following her success at CNN, Lee returned to the United States in 1999, where she hosted the talk show Pure Oxygen on The Oxygen Network, and also worked for other major broadcasters including ABC and NBC.[2]

In 2004, Lee returned to the Asia-Pacific region as an anchor for The Asia Wall Street Journal, CNBC's Asian financial news program, and then co-anchored CNBC Tonight with Teymoor Nabili until December 2005.[citation needed] Though she initially worried that as she aged, her career opportunities would decrease, she stated that her popular reception had improved due to her "experience and flexibility".[2][3]

In 2007, inspired by the economic and social changes she had seen in her five years away from Asia, she launched The May Lee Show, an English-language talk show modelled on The Oprah Winfrey Show and aimed specifically at Asian women. STAR TV placed great importance on the promotion of the new show, giving it a prime time slot right after the semi-final of American Idol, before moving it to the Sunday 8 P.M. slot two weeks later. The program discusses both soft issues such as fashion and celebrities, as well as social problems such as divorce, infidelity, and child trafficking; guests on the first episode included American actress Joan Chen, Australian singer Olivia Newton-John, and New Zealand chef Bobby Chinn.[2][4]

Lee was appointed the LA-based correspondent for CCTV-America in December 2014.


  1. ^ "CNN 첫 한국계 여성앵커 출신 메이 리 訪韓 (CNN's first ethnic Korean female anchor May Lee visits South Korea)" (in Korean). Hanguk Gyeongje Ilbo. 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
  2. ^ a b c d Kolesnikov-Jessop, Sonia (2007-05-16). "The "May Lee Show" set to make a pan-Asia debut". The International Herald-Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
  3. ^ Chung, Shi-haeng (2004-12-01). "Korean-American News Anchor Discusses Perseverance". The Chosun Ilbo. Archived from the original on January 13, 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
  4. ^ "한국계 CNN 앵커 출신 메이 리, 스타TV서 `아시아판 오프라윈프리쇼` (Ethnic Korean former CNN anchor May Lee's "Asian version of the Oprah Winfrey Show" on Star TV)" (in Korean). Hanguk Gyeongje Ilbo. 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-09-03.