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 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 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

Ben Fry
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A memorial service is scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. for longtime KUAR and KLRE General Manager Ben Fry, who died in his sleep early Thursday. He was 54. It will be held at St. James United Methodist Church at 321 Pleasant Valley Drive in Little Rock.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

On this week's podcast, a look at Tuesday's primary election and what it means going forward in the race for president, the state's Medicaid expansion program and a discussion with singer-song writer Rosanne Cash who took part in a fundraiser Thursday at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion to benefit her father Johnny Cash's boyhood home.

You can listen to the podcast above or Subscribe on iTunes.

Rosanne Cash Johnny Cash
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash took part in a fundraiser Thursday evening at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion in Little Rock to benefit the ongoing restoration of her father Johnny Cash's boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson invited her to hold the event there, calling the Cash house, which has been turned into a museum, "a great asset for the state." Arkansas State University bought the dilapidated home in 2011, carefully restoring it to how it looked when Johnny Cash lived there with his parents and siblings.

The week before Arkansas’s primary has the KUAR staff talking all things primary for this edition of the Week in Review podcast.

Asa Hutchinson Michael Hibblen
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is calling Donald Trump’s words "frightening" and hopes his endorsement of Sen. Marco Rubio can help sway the tide in the Republican presidential primary in Arkansas. His pointed comments about the Republican front-runner came during an interview aired nationwide Wednesday during NPR’s All Things Considered.

Hutchinson agreed that Trump is doing remarkably well, "and he’s getting better in terms of being more disciplined in his approach, but I’m not sure anybody is clear where he is philosophically."

Entergy Arkansas says it's studying a proposal by the Sierra Club for how it could comply with federal regulations to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas by reducing plant emissions.

The rule by the Environmental Protection Agency is known as the Regional Haze Rule.

The environmental group is proposing Entergy phase out the use of coal at the White Bluff power plant over the next nine years and at the Independence plant in Newark over the next eleven.

Marco Rubio
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

With just over a week before Election Day in Arkansas, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio campaigned in Little Rock Sunday, warning that an extended fight for the GOP nomination could cost the party the election.

-As a March 1st primary nears, Arkansas's Governor defends state legislators who've voted to expand Medicaid in the state

-That very same Governor reveals the outcomes from his recent meeting with federal officials on possible changes to that very same Medicaid expansion

-Presidential candidate Marco Rubio is coming to town, after another round of endorsements from state officials

-Rubio and the rest of the Republican presidential field criticize President Obama for a planned trip to Cuba, but Arkansas's Senior US Senator John Boozman thinks it's alright

Election early vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Early voting in Arkansas begins Tuesday, two weeks before the state’s primary election. Races include the presidential primaries, two state Supreme Court positions, and party challenges for Republicans in the 2nd district of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Locations will be open through Monday, Feb. 29, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

Two and a half weeks before Arkansas's presidential primary, the election and ramifications from the New Hampshire vote dominate the podcast this week. We include comments from UALR political science professor Greg Shufeldt and leaders of the state campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.