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



Local & Regional News
6:09 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Annual Survey Of 75 Largest Private Arkansas Companies Shows Growth

Credit Arkansas Business

Arkansas Business released its annual survey of the 75 largest private companies in the state in this week's issue, finding improving revenues and that many companies are making expensions.

Four new companies qualified to make the list: Summerwood Partners, Ritter & Co., Douglas Cos. and ABC Financial.

The 75 largest private companies in Arkansas generated total revenue — self-reported and estimated — of $31.15 billion in their most recent fiscal years, and the price of entry to the list was $88.8 million.

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Local & Regional News
5:28 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Arkansas's Five Most Endangered Historic Places For 2014

Members of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas announce the Fragile Five: 2014 List of Arkansas's Most Endangered Places.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas Thursday released its annual "Fragile Five" ranking of the most endangered historic places in the state.  Three are in Hot Springs, one is a Little Rock neighborhood, while the other represents the cultural heritage of American Indians.

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Local & Regional News
10:29 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Asa Hutchinson & Mike Ross Win Primaries For Arkansas Governor

Republican Asa Hutchinson talks to supporters after winning Tuesday's primary election for governor.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two former Congressmen easily won their party primaries and will face off in November in the race for Arkansas governor.

Republican Asa Hutchinson defeated businessman Curtis Coleman, winning 73 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election. Democrat Mike Ross beat Lynette Bryant with 84 percent of the vote.

At Tuesday night's watch party in Little Rock, Hutchinson said if elected in November, he would expand economic development in Arkansas.

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Local & Regional News
3:45 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Turnout Light In Arkansas Primary, No Problems Reported

Pulaski County polling site West Side Baptist Church in Little Rock on Tuesday.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Polls are open until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Arkansas’s primary election. Turnout has been reported to be light, as expected, at locations around the state.

At West Side Baptist Church in Little Rock, a steady trickle of voters made their way in and out of the polling site. But Larry Brannon noted he didn’t have a lot to choose from.

“I voted in the Democratic primary and so the choices are very lean, but I don’t want to miss voting, so I came. Most of (the races) were unopposed, but principally I wanted to vote for Mr. Ross and take a good look at the ballot.”

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Local & Regional News
4:58 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Turnout Expected To Be Light For Arkansas Primary Election

A sign outside a Little Rock polling location in a local March election.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas election officials are predicting 20 percent of the state's 1.6 million registered voters will cast a ballot in Tuesday's primary election. 

In Pulaski County, Director of Elections Bryan Poe expects it to be a little under that.

"In our office, we are estimating between 15 and 18 percent.  That translates to somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 registered voters, just about in line with previous primary elections, if not a little bit lighter," Poe said.

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Local & Regional News
5:19 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Marriage Licenses Again Being Issued To Gay Couples In Arkansas

A gay couple exchanges rings during a ceremony Monday at the Pulaski County Courthouse.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Same-sex couples are again being allowed to marry in some Arkansas counties after a judge Thursday clarified a previous decision.

Gay marriages were stopped in Pulaski and Washington Counties Wednesday after the Arkansas Supreme Court noted last week’s ruling didn’t address a law that applied to county clerks. One day later Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down all state laws preventing gay couples from getting married.

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Local & Regional News
5:49 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Deadline Tuesday For Parties In Same-Sex Case To File With Ark. Supreme Court

A couple kisses while waiting in line at the Pulaski County Clerk's office to apply for a marriage license.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court is giving parties involved in the case that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex marriages until noon Tuesday to respond to a request for a stay. Meanwhile scores of gay couples are taking advantage of the opportunity to wed after Eureka Springs became the first location Saturday where couple could get marriage licenses.

At the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock Monday, gay couples began lining up before sunrise. When the doors opened, the crowd was greeted by Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane.

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Local & Regional News
11:51 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Storms Bring Down Trees, Cause Flooding In Arkansas

A mobile home that was knocked off its foundation near Russellville.
Credit KARK-TV

Cleanup is underway after storms moved through Arkansas Thursday night, bringing down trees and causing scattered power outages.

The National Weather Service is investigating whether a weak tornado touched down in the western part of the state.

“There was a mobile home in the Russellville area in Pope County that received some damage due to some high winds,” said Kathy Wright, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. There were no reports of injuries.

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Local & Regional News
5:10 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Lawmakers Want Another Cost Estimate Of Private Option

Arkansas Sen. Bryan King (left) and Rep. Joe Farrer speak at a press conference Thursday.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group of Arkansas legislators who have opposed the private option say they’ll ask a legislative committee next month to authorize another analysis of the financial impact of the program.

Republican state Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest says he’s concerned that the program, which uses federal Medicaid money to buy private insurance for low income Arkansans, is on track to cost the state significantly more than had been projected.

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News About Public Radio
6:27 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

KUAR News Wins Seven Awards In Annual AP Contest

(left to right) Nathan Vandiver, Karen Tricot-Steward, Chris Hickey, Jacob Kauffman and Michael Hibblen.
Credit William Wagner / KUAR

The KUAR news staff won seven awards at this year's Arkansas Associated Press Broadcasters Association banquet in Little Rock, including three first place honors.  The contest is open to AP stations within the state.

First place awards:

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