Michael Hibblen

News Director

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


Republican Tom Cotton of Arkansas was the only member of the U.S. Senate to vote against a bill giving Congress the opportunity to review, and possibly reject any final nuclear deal with Iran. He contends any agreement should be handled as a treaty, which requires a two-thirds vote.

Thursday’s vote was 98-1 and follows months of wrangling over the legislation while the U.S. and five other nations negotiated with Iran.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The small, southwest Arkansas town of Hope is again under a national spotlight for its connection to a presidential campaign, as former Governor Mike Huckabee returned to his hometown Tuesday to formally announce his second bid for the White House. It's also where former President Bill Clinton was born.

You Tube

In advance of next Tuesday’s announcement by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is to say whether he’ll make another run for president in 2016, a video that will introduce him at the event was released Friday.

It opens with footage of nails being driven into a door, then transitions to a photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton from his first presidential campaign. Then former Huckabee advisor Rex Nelson says, "On his first day in office, Governor Huckabee’s door was nailed shut. It was in Bill Clinton’s Arkansas." 

The Arkansas Literary Festival, now in its 12th year, will draw thousands of people for a broad range of events at nearly two dozen venues around Little Rock. Beginning Thursday evening, it runs through Sunday, with the primary draw being  discussions with authors. A full rundown of events can be found here.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin heads the Common Core task force.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group put together by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to assess Common Core educational standards in Arkansas will hold its first public hearing Thursday in Little Rock.

Over the next two months, additional hearings will be held in eight other cities around the state to get public input and hear from educational leaders.

Dexter Suggs Little Rock Schools
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

With questions over accusations he plagiarized work for his doctoral degree, Dexter Suggs resigned  as interim superintendent of the Little Rock School District Tuesday morning, according to the Arkansas Department of Education.

A press release said Education Commissioner Johnny Key reached an agreement with Suggs for his immediate resignation. 

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A program that advocates say has saved the lives of hundreds of dogs while helping to rehabilitate Arkansas prison inmates was honored Friday at the state Capitol.

Paws in Prison, which was modeled on programs in other states, started in Arkansas in 2011 and matches dogs that are in animal shelters and otherwise would be euthanized with select prison inmates.

Doctor Mary Parker-Reed, vice-chair of the Arkansas Board of Corrections, says it has proven to be very effective.

Antonin Scalia Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia is to speak in north Arkansas Thursday evening.

The program at the Mountain Home campus of Arkansas State University is free and open to the general public, though tickets are required. A limited number are available by calling 870-508-6280.

The event, “A Conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,” begins at 6:30 at the Vada Sheid Community Development Center. Tickets can be picked up at the box office.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Its been 30 years since a legendary Little Rock radio station changed formats, marking the end of a key chapter for Arkansas media. This past weekend, many former employees of KAAY-AM 1090 got together to share stories and reflect on changes in the industry.

Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

After quick work by the Arkansas Legislature, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a revised religious objections bill into law Thursday.

The signing ceremony took place shortly after the House approved a new bill, which replaced one that had drawn criticism from many who suggested it was anti-gay. The new bill more closely mirrors the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.