Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR News. He directs activities of 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 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

The forced relocation of Native Americans is considered by historians to be one of the darkest periods for America. In a new book released this month, NPR Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep  digs into the back story of what led to the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which started the process of tribes being moved to undeveloped western parts of the country.

Senate State Agencies Committee before a split vote on the primary election bill.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

An $87 million economic incentive package to bolster Lockheed Martin’s bid for a federal defense contract in south Arkansas is headed for a final vote Thursday with broad support, while an attempt to move the state's primary elections slowly overcame a bastion of resistance in an amended form. The change from late May to early March would expire after just one election cycle, 2016.

Entergy power line
Entergy Arkansas

As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, 9,000 Arkansans were still without power after strong winds brought down trees and power lines throughout the state.

At its peak late Monday, more than 29,000 Entergy Arkansas customers were without power. Spokeswoman Sally Graham says all electricity should be restored by Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, levels on the Arkansas River are expected to continuing rising throughout the week, as water from heavy rainfall makes its way down the river.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas Legislature is preparing to convene Tuesday for a special session.

The key item up for consideration is an $87 million bond package that would go toward helping a Lockheed Martin facility in south Arkansas land a contract building a new type of military vehicle.

In an interview with KUAR Monday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he’s optimistic lawmakers will support it.

police shooting cabot

Authorities say police officers have shot and killed a handcuffed Arkansas parolee who fired at them from inside a patrol car.

It happened Tuesday night in Cabot, 25 miles northeast of Little Rock, after officers with the state Department of Community Correction and Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office detained 35-year-old Jonathan McIntosh for suspected drug possession.

UAMS campus
uams.edu / UAMS

The Affordable Care Act as applied in Arkansas has worked so well for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences that administrators are considering expanding the 10-story UAMS Medical Center, Arkansas Business reports. 

The 494-bed hospital stays nearly full and can take only about 70 percent of the requests for patient transfers from across the state.

Tornado nashville
Governor's office / Twitter

A storm system spawning multiple tornados hit southwest Arkansas and Texas Sunday night and early Monday morning.


Republican Tom Cotton of Arkansas was the only member of the U.S. Senate to vote against a bill giving Congress the opportunity to review, and possibly reject any final nuclear deal with Iran. He contends any agreement should be handled as a treaty, which requires a two-thirds vote.

Thursday’s vote was 98-1 and follows months of wrangling over the legislation while the U.S. and five other nations negotiated with Iran.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The small, southwest Arkansas town of Hope is again under a national spotlight for its connection to a presidential campaign, as former Governor Mike Huckabee returned to his hometown Tuesday to formally announce his second bid for the White House. It's also where former President Bill Clinton was born.

You Tube

In advance of next Tuesday’s announcement by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is to say whether he’ll make another run for president in 2016, a video that will introduce him at the event was released Friday.

It opens with footage of nails being driven into a door, then transitions to a photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton from his first presidential campaign. Then former Huckabee advisor Rex Nelson says, "On his first day in office, Governor Huckabee’s door was nailed shut. It was in Bill Clinton’s Arkansas."