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

Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders
Mic Smith/AP/www.NPR.org

Three weeks before Arkansas holds its presidential primary election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign opened its state headquarters in Little Rock Monday. Located at 323 Center Street, officials say it will serve as a place to organize state campaign activities.

walmart wal-mart

Arkansas-based Walmart is closing its small format stores, called Walmart Express. But the decision has upset the leaders of many small towns who are losing their only grocery store.

Chris Carlson/AP / NPR

As states begin voting to determine who will represent each party in the November presidential election, researchers are studying the psychology of how voters decide who to support.

A lab at Harding University in Searcy has been surveying groups of people on how they respond to the image of candidates and how they listen to the content of what's said during speeches and debates.

Dr. Jeremiah Sullins, an assistant professor of psychology, said the project has two overarching questions that they're working to answer.

U.S. Air Force

If Arkansas was hit by a major catastrophe that had more people needing emergency care than hospitals could handle, how would the medical community respond? State health officials and providers are working to complete planning for just such an emergency.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

As Arkansas recovers from several inches of snow, the KUAR news team assembled for this week's podcast. On the program: a long-awaited proposal from Gov. Asa Hutchinson on how he wants to address a highway funding shortfall, the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to consider the state's 12 week abortion ban, and a look at Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and renewed discussion about whether it should be jointly celebrated with Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Highways traffic Big Rock Interchange interstate
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is to announce his plan Tuesday to address a shortfall in highway funding for Arkansas. Vehicles getting better gas mileage has led to a decrease in fuel tax revenue.

A task force Hutchinson appointed to study the issue recently recommended raising state fuel taxes or moving revenue from elsewhere in the state budget. The governor said earlier this month that all recommendations are on the table, though he wants it to be a revenue neutral approach that won’t increase state spending or increase taxes without cuts elsewhere.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

On this week's podcast, a look at the final goodbye for former Senator and Governor Dale Bumpers, a high profile murder trial begins in Little Rock, the state is one step closer to perhaps starting its first dental college and Arkansas lawmakers try to understand the ins and outs of what it means for schools to be in academic distress.

Two separate accidents on the fast-flowing, swollen Mississippi River caused barges to break loose.

The Coast Guard says the first occurred Monday night along the eastern boarder of Arkansas when a towboat pushing barges struck a pier of the Helena Highway Bridge, sending four barges traveling free.

They were secured at about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday. Officials say two barges containing about 2.4 million gallons of denatured alcohol were damaged and were taking on water.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

On this week's podcast, a look at Gov. Asa Hutchinson's push for one special session to address changes to Medicaid and highway funding, the Little Rock School District advancing plans for two new schools and a look back at the career of Arkansas political legend Dale Bumpers.