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



Local & Regional News
1:21 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Rep. Griffin Growing Impatient About Delays For Explanations On Pipeline Inspections

Rep. Tim Griffin

Congressman Tim Griffin is to meet Thursday with representatives of the federal agency that oversees pipeline safety to express his growing frustration with the slow response to requests for help in assessing inspection report data.

The full forensic metallurgical report on the cause of the rupture of the 65-year-old ExxonMobil pipeline in Mayflower on March 29 has been released, primarily blaming original manufacturing defects.

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Local & Regional News
5:41 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Meeting To Discuss Native American Artifacts Found At Location For Steel Mill

Grant Tennille speaking Tuesday in North Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

Arkansas Economic Development Director Grant Tennille, the state archeologist and other officials will be meeting Wednesday with representatives of the Quapaw Tribe.

They’re hoping to reach an agreement about preserving Native American artifacts, discovered near where the proposed Big River Steel mill is to be built in Osceola.

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11:52 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Bill Halter Drops Out Of Race For Governor

Bill Halter
Credit Arkansas Times

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter is dropping out of the Democratic race for Arkansas governor next year. He made the announcement Monday in an email to supporters.

Spokesman Bud Jackson says the decision was made because Halter would have faced a tough challenge from former Congressman Mike Ross.

"When he first got in this race, it was only him and now we have a stronger candidate in Mike Ross who has done a better job in raising money and Bill decided he didn't want to put the party through a divisive primary and he would gracefully bow out," Jackson said.

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Local & Regional News
4:42 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

ExxonMobil Reconsiders, Extends Housing Assitance For Oil Spill Victims

The scene after the March 29 oil spill in Mayflower.
Credit KUAR

A day after announcing it was cutting housing assistance at the end of next month for residents impacted by the Mayflower oil spill, ExxonMobil has apparently reversed course.

Congressman Tim Griffin of Arkansas’ second district released a statement Friday afternoon saying that after urging the oil giant to reconsider, the company now says it will continue paying for housing through the end of the year.

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Local & Regional News
5:38 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Legislators Mull Risk Private Option Poses To Community Health Centers

The chief operating officers for several community health centers at a legislative hearing Thursday.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

Community health clinics, which provide services to the neediest Arkansans, are objecting to one aspect of the private option.

At a hearing Thursday, the leaders of several clinics told state lawmakers that a waiver included in the plan will cut into reimbursements so deeply that some won’t be able to stay open.

But some Republicans dispute whether they will indeed be affected.

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Local & Regional News
5:27 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Groundbreaking For Little Rock's 12th Street Police Station

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola speaks at Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony.
Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

After years of planning, a groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday for a new Little Rock Police substation on 12th Street.

City and community leaders joined Little Rock Police officials to formally begin work on the $11.9 million project.

The 12th Street Station will fill an entire city block between Pine and Cedar Streets and is a key part of efforts to revitalize the area.

Denise Johnson owns a beauty shop across the street from where it will be built.

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Local & Regional News
5:55 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Rep. Griffin Bill On Mandate Passes House, Not Expected To Be Considered By Senate

Rep. Tim Griffin

Two bills challenging mandates that are part of President Obama's health care law now move to the Senate, after passing in the House Wednesday.

Congressman Tim Griffin authored one of the bills, which delays the requirement that businesses provide employee health insurance or be penalized.

Thursday, Griffin spoke about the bill with KUAR during All Things Considered. You can listen to the interview above.

The bills come after the Obama Administration announced a one-year delay earlier this month for the employer mandate.

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Local & Regional News
12:48 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Harrison Man Named To Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Governor Mike Beebe announces new Game and Fish Commissioner Ken Reeves.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

At a time when the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working to restore public confidence after several controversies, a new member was appointed Wednesday.

Governor Mike Beebe announced that Ken Reeves, a vice-president and general counsel for FedEx Freight in Harrison, will replace outgoing commissioner Ronald Pierce of Mountain Home.

Reeves is the seventh member of the panel, which oversees hunting and fishing regulations.

He  says he wants to build on work the Game and Fish Commission has done to attract young people to outdoor recreational activities.

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Not Necessarily Nashville
8:23 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Not Necessarily Nashville Playlist July 13, 2013

Michael Hibblen filled in hosting that week's program.
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robinson- Leavin' (Cheater's Game)
Rodney Crowell- Still Learning How To Fly (Fate's Right Hand)
Elvis Costello- Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down (Almost Blue)
Brian Wright- We Don't Live There (Rattle Their Chains)
Guy Clark- The Guitar (Some Days The Song Writes You)
Steve Earle & the Del McCoury Band- The Mountain (The Mountain)
Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountian Boys- Over In The Glory Land (Clinch Mountain Gospel)

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Local & Regional News
9:04 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Arkansas AG Hopes To Spark Debate About Future Of Death Penalty

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel

A day after Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel generated headlines by saying that the state’s death penalty system is broken, he spoke with KUAR News Thursday about his hopes that this will spark a new debate in the coming weeks about what needs to be done by the state.

You can listen to the interview, aired during All Things Considered, above.

At the Arkansas Sheriffs Association convention Wednesday in Fort Smith, McDaniel pointed to roadblocks presented by endless litigation and the inability to get the drugs needed to carry out the procedure.

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