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
11:08 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Governor Names Former Aide Andrew Parker To Game & Fish Commission

Gov. Mike Beebe (second from the left) listens as new Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner Andrew Parker speaks during Wednesday's announcement.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe has named a former liaison to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to serve a seven year term on the panel.

At the announcement Wednesday at the Witt Stephens Central Arkansas Nature Center, Beebe said Andrew Parker has an ideal background for becoming a commissioner.

"A love for the outdoors, an understanding that hunting and fishing in Arkansas is a major past time, a major educational experience, a major family experience, a major economic engine and a corollary with the tourism that is so important for our state," Beebe said.

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Local & Regional News
3:44 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Documentary On Glen Campbell To Get Advance Screening In Little Rock

Glen Campbell

A soon-to-be-released documentary film looking at music legend Glen Campbell will get an advance screening Thursday in Little Rock. It’s called “Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me” and will be shown at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater.

“Of course Glen Campbell is one of our most famous native sons and to get the opportunity to see this film ahead of audiences across America and the world is a real honor,” said Courtney Pledger, artistic director for the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute.

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Local & Regional News
11:01 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Governor Beebe Signs Into Law Bills Passed During Special Session

Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Governor Mike Beebe signed into law Thursday bills that were passed during this week’s three day special session of the Arkansas Legislature.

The measures were to prevent a 35 percent hike in teacher insurance premiums, add 600 beds in state prisons and place a moratorium on the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery adding so-called monitor games.

Beebe Spokeswoman Stacey Hall says leaders of the state House and Senate joined the governor for the 10 a.m. signing, which was done without fanfare.

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Local & Regional News
5:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Ceremony To Begin Renovations To Little Rock's Robinson Center Music Hall

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and Governor Mike Beebe join local leaders in using crow bars to rip up part of the stage at Robinson Center Music Hall.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and others used crow bars Tuesday to rip up part of the stage at Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall, formally signifying the start of renovations to the venue.

The $68 million project will modernize the facility, which was built in 1939.  The work will improve its acoustics and seating, while enabling it to host any touring Broadway production.

Stodola said it has taken a lot of work to get to this point.

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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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