Carla Eckels

Assistant News Director, Music Host

Carla Eckels is Assistant News Director at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 19 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosts Joyful Sounds, a Sunday morning gospel radio show on Q92FM.  Prior to KMUW, she was the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition at WYSO public radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio and co-hosted a nationally syndicated Gospel Countdown Radio show in Cincinnati. 

Carla has reported on national news stories such as the BTK serial killer case, Roeder trial, Greensburg tornadoes and the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in for NPR.  The Dockum feature was the number one listened to story on KMUW’s website in 2007.

She’s the recipient of an Edward R. Murrow regional award for her reporting on Alzheimer’s. Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments. She was the emcee for the 2010, 2011 A Tribute to Trail Blazers Gala for the Kansas African American Museum and the 2011 NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet.

From 2004 to 2007, Carla hosted the number one gospel radio show on KSJM 107.9 JAMZ. She is the recipient of the Best Disc Jockey award voted on by subscribers of The Community Voice Newspaper.

Carla is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in communications. Her greatest joy is her family. She is married to Wichita and WSU Football Hall-of-Famer, Reuben Eckels and they have two children.

Ways to Connect

Music hosts Jedd Beaudoin, Chris Heim, Carla Eckels and Bill Pearce run down the best in music for 2015 - including selections for world, rock, local music, jazz, R&B, gospel, blues, rockumentaries and books about music.

Courtesy The Monarch Crusader Facebook

The Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition plans to have informational meetings early next year to help educate ranchers about its plan to help restore monarch habitats across Kansas grazing lands.

Sunday, December 27

Sunday on Soulsations,  hear new sounds from R&B vocal trio After 7, also a classic New Year’s Eve song from Lou Rawls.

University of Kansas

The Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas has named a permanent director after student protests last month.

Precious Porras has been interim director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs since May and will become its new director on Jan. 4. She joined the office in 2005 and was named its program coordinator of diversity education the next year.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

This week, KMUW News is telling the stories of volunteers who donate their time and talent to Sedgwick County organizations and nonprofits. Many people do their volunteer assignments year round--not just at the holidays.

Sue “K”--who prefers that her hard-to-pronounce last name not be used--is one of 1500 volunteers at the Kansas Humane Society in Wichita. The passionate dog lover manages a program that takes some lucky animals out of the shelter and into the waiting arms of residents in health care facilities. The program helps to create therapeutic and happy times for people, including those for whom pet ownership may no longer be an option. 

Sunday, December 20 

'Tis the Season!  Christmas music on Soulsations features new sounds from Kenya with "Little Drummer Boy" and classic Christmas tunes including Donny Hathaway with the soulful "This Christmas".

Hear Kenya's "Little Drummer Boy" here:

Wynn Ponder

Fifty-seven years ago, two Wichita brothers launched the very first Pizza Hut.

The business has grown into the world's largest pizza chain, with nearly 15,000 stores worldwide making about $13 billion in annual sales.

KMUW's Carla Eckels recently spoke with Pizza Hut co-founder Dan Carney about his early life in the pizza business. This piece is part of KMUW's ongoing series, "Wichita Entrepreneurs." More on Carney and Pizza Hut can be found here.

Storem, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas Board of Regents panel has advanced a plan governing how to allow concealed weapons on the state's college campuses by mid-2017.

The board's four-member governance committee discussed and signed off on the newest draft Wednesday in Topeka, Kansas. That sends the matter to the full board for its likely consideration and approval next month.

Sunday, December 13

Sunday on Soulsations,  Broadway star, Tony Award nominee and Wichita native Karla Burns explains how she came to record her jazzy version of “Joy To The World.”  Also, hear additional Christmas music from such favorites as Mary Mary, Anita Baker, Israel and New Breed, and Earth, Wind and Fire.

Courtesy photo

This piece originally aired during Morning Edition on 9/18/2014. It received first place for Complete News Feature/Enterprise--Large Market Radio at the 2015 Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards. 

Since this piece first aired, Zachary McDermott’s memoir of mental illness, Gorilla and the Bird, has been sold to Little, Brown Publishing and is expected to be released Mother’s Day, 2017. 

In October 2009, a successful lawyer and former Wichitan discovered he had bipolar disorder. But he won’t soon forget the vivid experience that changed his life.

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