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 music DJ for 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 in Little Rock, Richmond, Virginia and Miami, Florida.  During his 12 years in Miami, Michael became a nationally-heard reporter for CBS Radio News and later served as Assistant News Director for the NPR station WLRN, which worked out of the newsroom of daily newspaper The Miami Herald.  He 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



News About Public Radio
8:38 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

KUAR Wins Five AP Broadcast Awards

KUAR's five awards presented Saturday at AP luncheon in Little Rock.
Credit Nathan Vandiver/ KUAR

KUAR is proud to have won five awards at the Arkansas Associated Press Broadcasters Association's 2012 contest.  The awards for radio and TV stations were presented Saturday in Little Rock.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
7:22 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Ruptured Section of Oil Pipeline Removed From Mayflower

Workers on Sunday, April 7, working to clear the area around the pipeline so soil around it could be dug up.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Workers on Monday removed a 52-foot section of a buried pipeline that ruptured last month in Mayflower, spilling more than 200,000 gallons of raw crude oil.

It’s being sent to an independent lab for analysis, said ExxonMobil spokeswoman Kim Jordan. “We want to learn the cause of the breach.”

Jordan was at the site, describing the process in a telephone interview with KUAR News as workers were cutting the pipe at safe distances from each end of the 22-foot gash.

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Local & Regional News
12:24 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Arkansas House Delays Vote On 'Private Option'

Credit flickr.com

After planning to vote Friday on a bill to use federal Medicaid funds for a "private option," Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter said the chamber will wait until Monday.

Many lawmakers had said they wanted to take time to go back to their districts this weekend and talk with constituents before casting their votes.

75 of the 100 members of the Arkansas House would need to approve the bill.

The plan won support from most House members Thursday, but didn't get the 75-vote supermajority needed for an attached budget bill.

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Local & Regional News
11:51 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Residents Evacuated From Oil Spill Allowed To Return

Crews cleaning up the oil spill in the Mayflower neighborhood on Sunday.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Officials say some residents whose houses were evacuated when an oil pipeline ruptured in Mayflower can go home this week.

Federal on-scene coordinator Nick Brescia says residents of four homes could be allowed back Thursday, while residents of another eight or nine homes can return in the coming days.

Crews are still cleaning up the scene with heavy equipment.

The pipeline ruptured nearly two weeks ago, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw crude flowing down a street in what was described by residents as a "river of oil."

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Local & Regional News
6:22 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

AG: Oil Pipeline Gash Is 22 Feet Long

A photo of maps and other documents provided by ExxonMobil to the Arkansas Attorney General's office.
Credit Arkansas Attorney General's Office

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says investigators are beginning to go through documents related to a pipeline that ruptured nearly two weeks ago.

Late Wednesday more than 12,000 pages of subpoenaed material were delivered to his office.

McDaniel also disclosed during a press conference that the hole in the pipeline is “substantially larger than many of us initially thought,” measuring more than 22 feet long and two inches wide.

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Local & Regional News
6:15 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Remembering A Visit The Late Margaret Thatcher Made To Arkansas

As the world mourns the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, KUAR is looking back at a visit she made to Arkansas nearly 18 years ago.

Reporter Michael Hibblen covered the speech she gave at Harding University in Searcy in 1995 and has highlights of her remarks.

Thatcher’s visit came five years after she resigned as Prime Minister. She held that post longer than anyone else in the 20th century and was the only woman to serve as Britain’s Prime Minister.

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Local & Regional News
1:11 am
Mon April 8, 2013

ExxonMobil Shows Site Where Oil Pipeline Ruptured

Workers at the site where the underground pipeline ruptured.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

On Sunday, officials with ExxonMobil and local leaders allowed the press to get its first look at an area where an oil pipeline ruptured a week and a half ago, spilling an estimated 5,000 barrels of tar sands.

The tour occurred as workers in yellow hazmat suits continued working to clean up the upscale neighborhood in Mayflower.

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Local & Regional News
5:07 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Arkansas GOP Prepares Voter ID Education Campaign

Sen. Bryan King, Chairman Doyle Webb and Secretary of State Mark Martin speak to reporters at the Arkansas Republican Party Headquarters in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

While legal action is being promised regarding Arkansas’ new voter ID law, Republicans announced a program Thursday to educate voters about it.

State GOP Chairman Doyle Webb says “Operation Vote Arkansas” is designed to assist people who don’t already have a photo ID.

“Once the Secretary of State’s office and the local counties are prepared to begin issuing IDs, the Arkansas GOP will activate its county level volunteer organizations in all 75 counties to help any voter who contacts us with the need to obtain a photo ID,” said Webb.

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Local & Regional News
3:09 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Arkansas AG Says Oil Spill Shows Need For Inspections

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel tours the neighborhood Wednesday where an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Hear the report by KUAR's Michael Hibblen.

As the cleanup of an oil spill continues, Arkansas’ Attorney General says it highlights the need for stricter pipeline standards.

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Local & Regional News
6:48 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

State Investigators To Visit Site Of Oil Pipeline Break

A police checkpoint at the entrance to the Mayflower neighborhood where the oil spill occurred.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

On Wednesday, state investigators are to visit the site of last week’s rupture of an oil pipeline in Mayflower.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says his office has also told ExxonMobil, which owns the Pegasus Pipeline, to preserve all documents and information related to the spill and ongoing cleanup efforts.

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