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 the radio division of CBS 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

Milton Pitts Crenchaw
Butler Center For Arkansas Studios

A memorial service is set for Tuesday at the Arkansas state Capitol for former Tuskeegee Airman Milton Crenchaw. He died November 17th at the age of 96.

A native of Little Rock, Crenchaw was among the last surviving instructors of the group, which included the first African-Americans to fly combat missions in World War II.

The service begins at 1:30 p.m. in the first floor Rotunda and will include the unveiling of a portrait by Crenchaw’s family members.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

KUAR's Michael Hibblen and Jacob Kauffman talk about the top stories heading into the holiday weekend.

They discuss a decision by a Pulaski County Judge over same-sex couples being listed on Arkansas birth certificates, what's expected by Arkansas retailers during the coming shopping season, and the arrival  in North Little Rock of the Hoga, a tugboat present at Pearl Harbor when Japan attacked the U.S. 74 years ago.

downtown Pine Bluff
Paul Sableman / Flickr

A coalition of business, government and civic leaders will be working to craft a plan to reverse decades of decline in Pine Bluff. The struggling city has seen its population dropping in recent years, crime is among the highest in the nation per capita and abandoned downtown buildings have recently been collapsing. 

The Go Forward Pine Bluff planning effort is being funded by a donation from Simmons First National Bank, which has its corporate headquarters there.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

On this edition of the Week In Review podcast:

Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Congressional delegation weigh in on Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Department of Humans Services officials tell lawmakers the shortage of foster homes in the state is becoming worse.

A group charged with finding funding for highways in Arkansas inches closer to final recommendations. The governor suggests three of four are dead on arrival (no new taxes).

Robinson Center Music Hall
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

While the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra prepares to hold its annual Opus Ball this weekend at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, plans were announced Thursday for next year’s fundraiser. It will be the inaugural event for a new ballroom that’s part of a nearly $70 million renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall.

Chip and Cindy Murphy were named as chairs of the 2016 Opus Ball. Standing where the ballroom is being constructed on top of the original building, Cindy Murphy said it will be a monumental event.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

Machinations over widening I-30 are met with public scrutiny as highway officials make their case in Little Rock.

Candidates officially throw in their hats for 2016. A new poll and a closed door discussion have put some heat on an otherwise thought safe seat. Attitudes in 2015 assessed by the Arkansas Poll.

Six migrant farm workers are killed in an interstate bus crash outside of North Little Rock. Federal officials are on the scene.

Cuba Governor
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is asking leaders in Congress to ease credit restrictions on Cuba. It follows a three-day trade mission to the communist island by the governor and a delegation of state business leaders in September who hope to open new markets for Arkansas products.

Mike Huckabee
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The candidate filing period for the 2016 elections got underway Monday at the state Captiol, with presidential races dominating attention.

The first person in line was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is making his second bid for president. He was greeted like an old friend by many in the Rotunda, before signing the necessary paperwork alongside his wife Janet. 

Afterward he told reporters that while other Republicans have been leading in national polls, that’s no indication of how things will be when the first caucuses are held in Iowa in February.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

Listen Here to KUAR's Week In Review Podcast.   

Topics on this week's program:

* The Little Rock City Board of Directors considers whether to oppose I-30 expansion.

*Politicians promise statewide broadband access will be 2017 legislative focus.

*The Arkansas Supreme Court throws out a suit against the LRSD takeover.

*The state launches a new health insurance marketplace.