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

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson took part in meetings Monday in Washington, DC that could be key for the future of his Arkansas Works Medicaid expansion plan.

First he met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell as he seeks a needed waiver for the program, which is a successor to the state's Private Option. He then met with members of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.

-Donald Trump prepares for the White House and Asa Hutchinson prepares for Donald Trump.

-The answers are in on pollution along the Buffalo National River…but experts are still wading through the muck.

-The legislative session is a month away, but bills are already tricking down

-71,000 bulbs and a pigskin... the weekend in leisure

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is to meet next week with members of the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump to discuss healthcare. It comes after the governor talked with Trump earlier this week by phone.

Butterball Huntsville
Gabriel Thompson / Slate Magazine

The months leading up to Thanksgiving Day are a busy time for poultry companies that process turkeys. A new report by Slate Magazine says it also adds to an already disturbing amount of pressure for those who work in turkey plants, including one in northwest Arkansas.

Robinson Center Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The first performance at the newly renovated Robinson Center Performance Hall will take place Saturday. A key goal of the $70 million project has been to improve the acoustics of the Little Rock-owned venue that was built in 1939. Those attending the show by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will get to judge for themselves.

Election Day dominates this week's podcast, with a discussion on the races for president, U.S. Senate, medical marijuana and the Arkansas Legislature. We also note how Veteran's Day was observed in Arkansas.

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

Robinson Center
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

After a $70 million renovation, funded by a two percent rededicated advertising and promotion tax approved by voters in 2013, on Thursday the doors of an iconic Little Rock performance venue were reopened to the public.

Robinson Center
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

After nearly two and a half years of work, a ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Thursday at 10 a.m. for Little Rock's Robinson Center. A $70 million renovation is being completed on the auditorium which first opened in 1939.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / Arkansas Public Media

It's Election Day and Arkansans have until 7:30 p.m. to get in line to cast their ballot. The Secretary of State's office has projected high voter turnout and reports early voting totals exceeding the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office says more than 606,000 Arkansans took advantage of early voting, compared to about 452,000 in 2012.

Robinson Center Gretchen Hall Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Christina Littlejohn
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Free tickets will be handed out Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the steps of the newly renovated Robinson Center in Little Rock for a thank you concert later this month by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. It comes as final work is being done before next week's grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

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