Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR. He handles assignments for the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits copy. Michael is responsible for starting a news-sharing partnership between public radio stations in Arkansas in 2009 which laid the foundation for what became Arkansas Public Media. 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 a 1993 internship 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, and the 2000 presidential election recount. He was hired by daily newspaper the Miami Herald in 2003 when it partnered with NPR station WLRN, initially working as morning news anchor. Later Michael became 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. Michael also enjoys researching railroad history and is author of Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas, which was published by Arcadia Publishing in April 2017.

Phone: 501-683-7386

E-mail: michael@kuar.org

Ways to Connect

Michael Hibblen

A former state lawmaker, who has led efforts concerning state highways in previous years, was appointed Thursday to the Arkansas Highway Commission.

Former House Speaker Robert Moore was named to a 10-year term, replacing commission Chairman Madison Murphy, whose term is expiring.

Moore said he realizes the significance and challenges of maintaining good highways and will look for innovative new ways to meet the challenges of funding needed work.

Winthrop Rockefeller Collection

The late Johnny Cash was well known for his prison concerts, but this weekend the BBC will air a special looking at one lesser-known prison show that helped spur reform in Arkansas.  You can listen to the show here.

The international broadcaster sent a reporter from London to Arkansas to research the performance at Cummins Prison in 1969.

For the first time since before the Civil War, Republicans Tuesday night won control of both chambers of the Arkansas Legislature.

Republican incumbents from Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives also won re-election, while Tom Cotton won the 4th district seat being vacated by Democrat Mike Ross.

But the margins in the state House and Senate weren't as wide as Republican leaders had hoped, suggesting both parties will still have to work together in reaching mutually satisfying agreements in the coming legislative session.

Michael Hibblen filled in hosting the program that week.
Joe Ely- You Can Bet I’m Gone (Satisfied At Last)
Norman Blake- The Railroad Days (Fields of November)
Steve Goodman- City of New Orleans (Live at the Earl of Old Town)
Robert Earl Keen- Five Pound Bass (The Road Goes On Forever)
Guy Clark- Dublin Blues (Dublin Blues)
Billy Joe Shaver & Kris Kristofferson- No Earthly Good
The Carper Family- Another Town (Come See Yer Ol’ Daddy)
Hayes Carll- Little Rock (Little Rock)
Merle Haggard- Branded Man (Down Every Road Box Set)

Rodney Crowell- Anything But Tame (Kin)
Pat Green- All Just To Get To You
Merle Haggard – Big City (The Bluegrass Sessions)
Johnny Cash – I Won’t Back Down (American III: Solitary Man)

Interview with Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of the Arkansas Heritage Sites program, who is overseeing the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas.  During a visit to Little Rock, she stopped by KUAR to provide an update on how the project is going.

Little Rock Airport
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock National Airport is being renamed in honor of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The airport's commission unanimously approved the name change Tuesday after hearing comments from the public.

Arkansas House Speaker-elect Darren Williams told the panel he believes it is an appropriate way to honor the 42nd President and the Secretary of State. 

Johnny Cash boyhoood home
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

On what would have been Johnny Cash's 80th birthday, dozens of family members joined hundreds of fans and residents in the east Arkansas town of Dyess Sunday to formally mark the beginning of work to restore his boyhood home.

"This project has been in the making for several years and I never thought that it would actually come to fruition," said daughter Rosanne Cash, who led the ceremony at the Dyess Community Center. "We never foresaw that it would take on this kind of life."

Michael Hibblen filled in hosting the program that week.

Johnny Cash- Like The 309 (American V: A Hundred Highways)
Rodney Crowell- Beautiful Despair (The Outsider)
Johnny Cash- I Still Miss Someone (Live at Madison Square Garden, 1969)
Johnny Cash- Five Feet High and Rising (Live at Madison Square Garden, 1969)
Johnny Cash- Pickin’ Time (Live at Madison Square Garden, 1969)

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

55 years ago, a modest home on West 28th Street in Little Rock was where the Little Rock Nine would meet to coordinate efforts to integrate Central High School.

During the days when National Guard troops kept them out of the school, it’s also where they would meet with tutors in the basement to keep up with their studies.

Today the home of L. C. and Daisy Bates is restored to the way it looked in those days and is available for tours from the National Park Service.

Arkansas Gazette
Arkansas Gazette

It was the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River and an institution in Arkansas. This weekend former employees of the Arkansas Gazette will gather to mark the 20 year anniversary of the newspaper’s death.

The last issue of the Arkansas Gazette hit the streets on October 18, 1991, capping a fierce battle between it and the Arkansas Democrat.

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