Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR. He handles assignments for the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits copy. Michael is responsible for starting a news-sharing partnership between public radio stations in Arkansas in 2009 which laid the foundation for what became Arkansas Public Media. 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 a 1993 internship 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, and the 2000 presidential election recount. He was hired by daily newspaper the Miami Herald in 2003 when it partnered with NPR station WLRN, initially working as morning news anchor. Later Michael became 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

Secretary interior Sally jewell transportation secretary Anthony Foxx National Park Service Ranger Jodi Morris
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two members of President Obama’s cabinet visited Little Rock Tuesday, getting a firsthand look at the historic Central High School. It was part of a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

On this week's podcast, the KUAR news team discusses:

Fresh 2 You
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance / Facebook

With a lack of grocery stores in Little Rock’s poorer neighborhoods, and a lack of transportation options, many in the city have long had trouble getting fresh fruits and vegetables.

Reliance on junk food from convenience stores or fast food outlets only adds to the problems of poverty by making it harder for people to eat healthy. But the city is partnering with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other organizations to offer what’s being called a mobile farmers market.

Little Rock Port Authority French Hill
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Port of Little Rock will be undergoing a $6.1 million expansion enabling it to more easily move freight between river barges and trains. The project will be funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola says will greatly expand the port's economic impact.

-How does the health of low income Arkansans compare to other states, two years after the passage of Medicaid expansion?

-It’s back-to-school time. An Arkansas lawmaker delivers a report on the education system in the US and other countries. The state GOP removes mention of Pre-K from its party platform. And a Special Ed task force prepares an upcoming report, after more than a year of work.

- Inaccuracies in the Secretary of State’s office list of flagged felons on the voter rolls provokes a public records dispute with the state Democratic Party.

The call from Republican Senator Tom Cotton for presidential nominee Donald Trump to apologize to the family of a Muslim-American solider who died serving his country leads KUAR's Week-In-Review podcast.

We also discuss the Arkansas unemployment rate, the governor's hopes for technology companies, the abrupt resignation of ASU's chancellor and hopes from the state's fledgling Green Party.

You can listen to the podcast above or Subscribe on iTunes.

Tim Hudson
Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University Chancellor Tim Hudson has abruptly resigned three weeks before the start of the fall semester. It comes days after details of an internal audit were published, finding problems with the school's study abroad program which was headed by Hudson's wife.

The university did not cite a reason for the resignation, but an ASU official says it followed a meeting Tuesday evening between Hudson and ASU System President Charles Welch.

In an email sent at 9:56 p.m. Tuesday, Hudson wrote simply:

Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport Sign
Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

Major work to two runways at Little Rock’s Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is about to begin, with airport officials hoping to minimize the impact on travelers.

The airport’s general aviation runway, known as Runway 18/36, is to close by the middle of August and not reopen until February, says airport spokesman Shane Carter. That will shift arriving and departing planes to one of two commercial runways.

A public school teacher from Bauxite, Arkansas is to speak to the Democratic National Convention Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Dustin Parsons, a 5th grade math and social studies teacher at Pine Haven Elementary, says he'll discuss how efforts by Hillary Clinton when she lived in the state benefited children. In particular, he says her role in leading education reforms had a lasting impact in Arkansas.

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.

Pages