Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR News. He handles assignments for the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits news copy. Michael is responsible for starting a news-sharing network between public radio stations in Arkansas. He is also a regular panelist on AETN's Arkansas Week, where journalists discuss issues in the news.

A native of North Little Rock, Michael started in radio in 1988, spending his first five years as a DJ for music stations in central and northeast Arkansas. After an internship in 1993 at the C-SPAN Cable Network in Washington, DC, he transitioned to news, working for commercial radio stations KARN in Little Rock, WRVA in Richmond, Virginia and WIOD in Miami, Florida. In 2000, Michael became a nationally heard, Miami-based reporter for CBS Radio News, covering major stories in the region, including the anthrax attack at a tabloid publisher, an international custody fight over Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, a plane crash in the Bahamas that killed R&B singer Aaliyah and the 2000 presidential election recount. He was hired by the Miami Herald with the launch of its radio department in 2003, which provides local newscasts for NPR station WLRN. Initially he worked as morning anchor, later becoming department editor, then assistant news director. He also wrote frequently for the newspaper.

Michael returned home to Little Rock in 2009 to work for KUAR. At that time he also resumed taking classes at UALR to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication, graduating in May of 2013.

Phone: 501-683-7386

E-mail: michael@kuar.org

Ways to Connect

Hillary Clinton
KLRE-KUAR Archives

As the case is made during this week’s Democratic National Convention for why Hillary Clinton should be elected president of the United States, expect to hear at least some about her time living in Arkansas.

Hal Bass, a political science professor at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, says the years she was Arkansas’s first lady with then-Gov. Bill Clinton were key in the formative development of the political leader she is today. He says it also presents a more likeable image than how many now view her.

News staff
Vanessa McKuin / Arkansas Public Media

The KUAR news staff won 10 awards from the Arkansas Associated Press Broadcasters Association Friday, including five first place honors. The annual competition is for reporting done during 2015 and is open to AP member stations around the state. The awards were handed out during a luncheon at Little Rock's Loca Luna.

First Place:

-KUAR Staff, Breaking News: Arkansans React To Gay Marriage Ruling

Ted Suhl
Nelson Chenault / Arkansas Times

A federal jury convicted a north Arkansas man who owned several mental health facilities on bribery charges late Thursday afternoon. The Arkansas Times reports that after almost five hours of deliberations, Ted Suhl was found guilty of four of six counts for allegedly funneling money to a top official at the Arkansas Department of Human Services in exchange for getting preferential treatment from the state.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

Republicans from Arkansas are preparing to travel to Cleveland for their party's national convention. That leads KUAR's Week-In-Review Podcast this time.

We also share comments from former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who shared a stage in Arkansas Thursday with former British Prime Minster Tony Blair and the Little Rock Nine.

Finally the news staff discusses a trip to Europe by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to open a state office in Berlin. He also discussed the state acquiring a new batch of drugs to carry out lethal injections.

Little Rock Nine former President Bill Clinton prime minister Tony Blair Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair joined former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in Little Rock Thursday, sharing concerns about growing divisiveness in the world. They spoke along with members of the Little Rock Nine to graduates of a leadership program before severe weather cut the event short.

The event was held in the auditorium at Central High School, with the former world leaders lamenting changes that have led to a hyper-partisan culture.

Pres. Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An invitation-only event in Little Rock Thursday will bring together former world leaders and Arkansas civil rights pioneers.

The graduation ceremony for the 2016 class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program will feature former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who served while the two were in office, and three members of the Little Rock Nine.

Ernest Green, Minnijean Brown-Trickey and Carlotta Walls LaNier were among the black students who integrated Central High School in 1957.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislature has given final approval to a rule allowing counselors to refer clients to another provider if they have religious objections to treating them. But critics say it could allow the denial of mental health services for LGBT people.

The Legislative Council's Rules and Regulations Subcommittee approved the proposal Tuesday by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling, which regulates about 2,800 counselors and therapists in the state.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

Amid the unrest over police-related shootings around the country and the attack on officers in Dallas, a central Arkansas judge is weighing in.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen says he has long seen the results of the nation’s criminal justice system, and spoke with KUAR’s Michael Hibblen.  You can hear the interview above.

MICHAEL HIBBLEN: Given everything that you've been seeing in the news and coming out, what are your thoughts at this point?

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

Arkansas, like the rest of the nation, had an emotional reaction to the police shootings of young black men this week, then five officers being killed by a gunman in Dallas. We feature comments from a rally at the state Capitol Friday and Gov. Asa Hutchinson offering his thoughts.

We also advance a trip by the governor and economic development officials to Europe to nurture the state's aerospace industry, have Hutchinson's thoughts on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and discuss proposals likely to go before voters in November which were submitted before a deadline Friday.

v
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas voters will again consider a medical marijuana proposal in November. After dropping off box loads of petition signatures at the Secretary of State's office a couple of weeks ago, members of the group Arkansans for Compassionate Care say they got word Thursday that enough were valid.

"We did get official news that we are certified for the ballot with 77,516 valid signatures which is nearly 10,000 over the required number. It's absolutely fabulous," said Campaign Director Melissa Fults.

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