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 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 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

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Local & Regional News
10:09 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Courts Hear Arguments On Arkansas Gay Marriage Case

Arkansas Supreme Court

The Arkansas Supreme Court and a federal judge heard oral arguments Thursday  on whether a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman is valid.

The state's high court is considering the appeal of a Pulaski County judge's ruling earlier this year that said the amendment, approved by voters in 2004, is unconstitutional.

Assistant Arkansas Attorney General Colin Jorgensen represented the state, asking that the amendment be allowed to stand.

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Local & Regional News
1:28 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

In Advance Of Hearings On Same-Sex Marriage, Rally Held At Capitol

Supporters of traditional marriage rally Wednesday morning on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

On the eve of oral arguments before the Arkansas Supreme Court and a federal judge, hundreds of supporters of traditional marriage rallied Wednesday morning at the state Capitol.

The event, organized by the Family Council, featured religious leaders and was designed to show support for the 2004 Arkansas constitutional amendment approved by voters that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

"We are here today to call on the Arkansas Supreme Court to simply let the people's vote for marriage stand," said Jerry Cox, president of the group.

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Local & Regional News
12:32 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Governor-Elect Hutchinson: No Medicaid Decision Until January

Arkansas Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson at a press availability Thursday in the state Capitol rotunda.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson says it will be January at the earliest before he decides whether to push for continuing the state’s Medicaid expansion program.

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Arkansas Political Spending
2:22 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Political Advertising A Record High In Arkansas

This year’s election cycle has brought millions of dollars to Arkansas media in the form of political advertising. Doug Krile is the executive director of Arkansas Broadcasting Association. He says the amount of money being spent on advertising is vastly more than years prior. 

“The amount of money being spent in Arkansas is unreal. The flood gates have really opened up,” he says. "What I’m hearing from our members is that, yes, this is unique. This has never happened before.”

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Arkansas Election 2014
1:10 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Early Voting On Pace To Set A Record In Pulaski County

A sign outside the Pulaski County Regional Building in Little Rock notifies people where they can vote early.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Early voting locations across Arkansas are reported to be busy ahead of Tuesday’s election.

In Pulaski County, Circuit Clerk Larry Crane says more people than ever are opting to vote early.

"Early voting is about 40 percent higher in Pulaski County this year than it was back in 2010, which would be the same corresponding election cycle," Crane said.

"Unless something bends or breaks, we will indeed set a record on early voting and it will be a substantial increase. We are very pleased with the turnout.”

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Arkansas Election 2014
10:56 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Candidates For Arkansas Treasurer Hope To Restore Credibility To Office

In the race for Arkansas Treasurer, the key priority repeated by the candidates is restoring credibility to the office after the corruption conviction of former Treasurer Martha Shoffner.  The three vying for the office spoke with KUAR News in advance of next month's election.

Democrat Karen Garcia touts her background.

"I am the professional accountant, not the professional politician in this race. I have 30 years of experience. I have personally been responsible for multi-million and billion dollar budgets," Garcia said.

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Local & Regional News
4:28 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Event Celebrates Life Of Poet & Author Maya Angelou In SW Arkansas

Maya Angelou

An event this weekend in southwest Arkansas will celebrate the life and legacy of African American poet and author Maya Angelou, who died earlier this year at the age of 86. 

She was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928, but with the end of her parent’s marriage at the age of three, Angelou was sent to live with her grandmother in southwest Arkansas.

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Local & Regional News
7:06 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Arkansas GOP Chair Claims AG Candidate Illegally Holds Two Government Positions

Doyle Webb, chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, speaking to reporters Tuesday.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas is suing Democratic Attorney General candidate Nate Steel, claiming he is holding two government offices which is prohibited by state law.

At a press conference Tuesday at the state GOP headquarters, Doyle Webb said Steel is working as the city attorney for the southwest Arkansas town of Nashville, while also serving as a state House member.

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Local & Regional News
10:18 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Arkansas Supreme Court Considers State's Voter ID Law

Arkansas Supreme Court justices

It’s now up to the Arkansas Supreme Court to decide whether voters will have to show photo identification at the polls next month.

On Thursday, justices heard oral arguments in an appeal of a case that challenged the law passed last year by the Republican-led Legislature.

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Local & Regional News
11:37 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Little Rock Police Begin Listing Officer Dispatches After Encrypting Radio Traffic

The Little Rock Police Department is now posting online a list of all calls its officers are dispatched to, but on a half hour delay.

Over the summer, the agency began encrypting police radio traffic, saying that allowing people to hear police activity in real time on scanners or smart phone apps was compromising officer safety. Lawsuits were filed, calling it a violation of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

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