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 Hesston Shootings, 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 two Edward R. Murrow regional awards for her reporting including a 2015 award for her story on Shockers Men's Basketball: A Candid Look. Carla also won a 1st place Kansas Association of Broadcasting award in 2015  for her story on Bipolar Disorder and 2nd place for DJ Personality Aircheck for Soulsations.  Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments.

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

Sunday, June 26

This week on Soulsations we'll hear contemporary sounds from Dove and Stellar award-winning gospel duo,  Anointed.  Born in Columbus, Ohio in a family of nine, Da'dra Crawford Greathouse and her brother, Steve Crawford have sang from the time they could walk, first performing as part of the family group, The Crawford Singers.  The duo is known for pioneering a sound that crosses cultural boundaries.  The two currently serve on the worship team at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX, the largest congregation in America.  

Sunday, June 19

This Sunday on Soulsations we feature The Dazz Band, who have been inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. They will perform at the WSU Metroplex on Saturday, June 25. Proceeds will go to the Real Men, Real Heroes organization which provides mentors to Wichita's youth.

The 2016 Juneteenth celebration culminates this Saturday at McAdams Park in Wichita.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger of the Union Army proclaimed the slaves of Texas free, two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln's emancipation of the slaves, which became official on January 1, 1863.

For the local observance of Juneteenth, organizer Djuan Wash says a host of events will take place.


A quiet vigil to remember the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando will take place downtown on Wednesday.

The Wichita Coalition Against Gun Violence will host a vigil to reflect on the 49 victims who lost their lives, as well as for those who were injured. The shootings occurred early Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Police killed the gunman.

Rev. Michael Poage, the vigil's organizer, says that the local community can come together after the tragic event.

donkeyhotey / Flickr / Creative Commons

A Bernie Sanders supporter in Wichita is still holding out hope for her candidate to somehow be nominated at the National Democratic Convention in July, but if not, she plans to vigorously help to secure local wins for Democrats. Republicans are also seeking committed volunteers to help invigorate their campaigns.

Die-hard Sanders supporter Carri New is a delegate being sent to the National Democratic Convention in July. She says if Bernie Sanders concedes, she will turn most of her attention to Kansas races.

Courtesy Photo

In the late 80s a trio known as A Group of Guys set Wichita’s gospel music scene ablaze with their contemporary sound. The young men traveled around the region singing at churches, colleges and festivals. Bernard Gray talks with KMUW’s Carla Eckels about their music and about singing at a reunion concert Sunday in Wichita.

Courtesy of The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum Association

The Kansas Health Foundation, the state’s largest philanthropic organization, gave the Kansas African-American Museum a $50,000 grant on Thursday to commemorate the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in.

Two Dockum sit-in participants received a standing ovation when the foundation's CEO Steve Coen made the announcement during a symposium at the Kansas Leadership Center.

Coen told the audience a permanent exhibit will be established at what is now the Ambassador Hotel, the former location of the Dockum Drug Store.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

A local group is helping to register people to vote during Riverfest in downtown Wichita--including those who at one time were incarcerated.

Men and women released from jail who are U.S. citizens and "off paper"--meaning off probation and parole--can vote in Kansas. But many don't know they can.

Doug Ballard is part of the social justice group JENI, which stands for Jobs & Education--Not Incarceration. He says the group has been registering people to vote, including one formally incarcerated man who had not voted in more than three decades.


Fans of Mustangs, Falcons, and Torinos are expected to come out in the hundreds to the 23rd annual All Ford Show tomorrow at Sedgwick County Park.

Many models of Fords will be on display and in competition, including classics.

Kelly Keyser, a board member of the South Central Kansas Mustang Club, will show her dream car: a 2014 black-on-black convertible Mustang.