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
1:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Pulaski County Jail To Close Again To All But The Most Violent Offenders

Credit www.pcso.org

The Pulaski County Jail is again being closed because of overcrowding, with only the most violent offenders to be taken in.

Sheriff Doc Holladay says as of Monday morning, 1,281 inmates were being held, which is 71 over capacity.

“Looking ahead over the next few days with the long holiday weekend coming, it is quite clear that our population is going to continue to grow unless we took some steps to limit access to the facility. Unfortunately the only way we can do that is close the facility to only violent felons,” Holladay said.

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Local & Regional News
4:11 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Hillary Clinton To Sign Copies Of Her New Book In Little Rock

Former Secretary of State and potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be in Arkansas Friday to sign copies of her latest book "Hard Choices."

The event will take place beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Walmart Supercenter at the corner of Chenal Parkway and Cantrell Road in west Little Rock.

Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman says those interested will need to get there early.

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Local & Regional News
6:11 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Thousands Of Square Dancers Converge On Little Rock For Annual Convention

Contra dancing, as shown on a video on the website of the 63rd National Square Dance Convention.

Nearly 4,000 square dancers and participants are converging on Little Rock for the 63rd National Square Dance Convention.  Some are traveling from as far away as Germany, Japan, Sweden, Great Britton, the Netherlands, Australia and the Philippians.

The opening ceremony is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center.  Events will then take place there, at the Little Rock Marriott and Robinson Center through Saturday evening.

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Local & Regional News
3:11 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Hopes Of Saving Pine Bluff's Historic, But Crumbling Hotel Pines

The lobby of the Hotel Pines as it looks now after a rough winter.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group of photographers is working to document a long-closed, historic hotel in Pine Bluff, while it's also being studied by architecture students. The hotel was once considered among the finest in Arkansas, but has been abandoned for nearly half a century and after a hard winter, the once grand structure is deteriorating fast.

The two story lobby with marble walls and plaster ornamentation is crumbling. The curved ceiling once featured stained glass, but that’s broken, allowing water to pour in.

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Local & Regional News
2:43 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Longtime KUAR Newsroom Leader Ron Breeding Dies At 54

Ron Breeding on the air at KUAR on October 4, 2010.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Veteran radio news journalist Ron Breeding, who spent 12 years working as news and program director at KUAR, has died. He was 54-years-old.

Breeding was respected among his colleagues as a reporter who wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions or challenge politicians and other public officials.

He started with KUAR in 2000 and expanded local news on the station from a handful of rip-and-read newscasts coming directly from the Associated Press news wire into a fully-functioning newsroom with original reporting.

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Local & Regional News
7:36 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Gov. Beebe Optimistic For Renewal Of Private Option In 2015

Governor Mike Beebe speaking Thursday evening to the Delta Grassroots Caucus in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Despite this week’s election defeat of a key supporter of Arkansas’s private option, the governor and a top legislative leader are hopeful the program will be renewed next year.

Speaking to the Delta Grassroots Caucus Thursday night, Gov. Mike Beebe said he believes arguments for the plan and the consequences of not taking federal money for the Medicaid expansion will sway lawmakers.

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Local & Regional News
12:34 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Sen. Boozman Back At Work After Surgery, Will Seek Re-Election In 2016

U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas was back at work in Washington Monday for the first time since having emergency heart surgery two months ago.  And with his return, the Republican said he will be seeking a second term in 2016.

“This is the first day back and I’ve been working hard with my rehab and all that stuff and I’m in good shape,” Boozman said in an interview with KUAR News.

Boozman said he’s feeling good and glad to be back.

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Local & Regional News
5:40 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Work To Begin Soon On $68 Million Renovation Of Robinson Auditorium

Gretchen Hall, chief executive officer of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and Jim Rice, chief operating officer, pose on the stage of Robinson Center Music Hall.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall will soon be closing its doors to begin two years of renovations to modernize the facility.

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Local & Regional News
3:37 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Jason Baldwin Of The West Memphis 3 Co-Writes Book

An author whose extensive work helped build support that led to the release of the West Memphis Three has teamed up with one of the men to tell his story. It’s the second book on the case for Mara Leveritt whose previous book, Devil's Knot, was  recently made into a movie.

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Local & Regional News
4:50 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Grant To Allow Study of Adolescent Trauma And Addiction Later In Life

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are getting a grant of nearly $1.5 million to look at the effects of trauma on teenage girls to see if there’s a direct connection to drug addiction later in life.

Dr. Clint Kilts is lead investigator of the study, which is being funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“We see trauma in many forms, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect or adolescent assault exposure," which Kilts says disrupts the normal organizational structure and function of the human brain.

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