Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR News. He handles assignments for 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 the radio division of CBS 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 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

In an effort to combat violent crime, two Arkansas cities are among five nationwide being added to the Violence Reduction Network. The program by the U.S. Department of Justice does not provide additional funding, but Chris Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Arkansas, says it will allow access to resources and expertise to help police departments in Little Rock and West Memphis.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

This is KUAR’s Week in Review Podcast where we cover the news from the week that was, this edition: September 20-26.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

This time on KUAR's Week-In-Review podcast, which looks at the top stories covered each week, the news staff discusses:  

Robinson Center Music Hall Phantom of the opera auditorium
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

When a nearly $70 million renovation of Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall is complete late next year, the venue will be able to host any touring Broadway production. And officials announced Monday that for the first time, Andrew Lloyd Webber's renowned Phantom of the Opera will be coming to town in March 2017. 

It's one of the shows that in the past couldn't be staged at Robinson because of its layout and loading limitations. But the extensive renovations underway right now will change that.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

This time on KUAR's look at the past week in news, politics and more, Michael Hibblen and Jacob Kauffman discuss:

  • Arkansas preparing its first executions in a decade
  • Fayetteville voters passing an anti-discrimination ordinance despite a new state law
  • The University of Arkansas System launching its online university eVersity
  • Democrat Conner Eldridge officially announcing his bid for the Senate seat held by Republican John Boozman
  • And we'll talk with Sen. Tom Cotton about his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and other issues. 
white bluff entergy power plant coal energy
Arkansas Business

A federal judge is being asked to issue a summary judgment in a lawsuit by an environmental group wanting Arkansas and federal officials to finalize plans for implementation of the so-called regional haze rule. It would limit pollution in national parks and wildlife areas largely created by coal-fired power plants.

Glen Hooks, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club says officials have so far failed to adequately respond.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

On this week's podcast, we discuss Governor Asa Hutchinson's Summit calling on the faithful to help address a lack of foster care beds and the difficulties parolees face in the state. We look at the strategy of state regulators tasked with implementing the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. We talk about the visit to Little Rock of Dr. Ben Carson, the fourth Republican Presidential candidate to come through Arkansas. And there's a new state Supreme Court Justice in town, who is he?

2016 GOP presidential primary candidate Mike Huckabee

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will be in Little Rock for a fundraiser Monday night. The former Arkansas governor is also celebrating his 60th birthday.

The event is an invitation only affair at Next Level Events at the Little Rock train station. Huckabee’s wife Janet and their five grandchildren are expected to be there. His campaign says there will be BBQ and birthday cake.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

The top story this week: Gov. Asa Hutchinson lays out a seven-point plan to continue the state's participation in the Medicaid expansion through the private option, though officials also resume sending cancellation notices to those who didn't respond to verification request.


The Little Rock School District will be allowing high school students to carry their cell phones with them during the school day as part of a pilot policy.

In the past, students who brought their phones on campus were required to leave them in their lockers during the day. But the district announced Thursday that effective immediately, that’s changing.