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 20 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. 

In April 2016, Wichita State University presented Carla with the exclusive honor of the Wayne Carlisle Distinguished Service Award, The Carlisle Award is presented to an unclassified professional who models the standard of extraordinary service exhibited by the late Wayne Carlisle.

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.

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Sunday, January 1

Hear music from the one-of-a-kind R&B group, Naturally 7. The men, who use only their voices as instruments, have a new release coming out this spring.

Mental health professionals are seeing a decrease in the number of suicides in Sedgwick County, and more people are seeking help.

In 2014, there were 82 suicides in Sedgwick County. Last year, that number went down to 68. Nearly 75 percent of the suicides in 2015 were men – mostly middle-aged.

Deidre Helm is the program manager of Comcare’s Community Crisis Center, which is open 24 hours a day in downtown Wichita. Helm says more people are seeking help from the center and online.

Thomas's Pics, flickr Creative Commons

According to a Office of State Fire Marshal report, Kansas is well on its way to reducing structure fires, including residential fires. There was almost an 11 percent decrease in structure fires last year alone.

There were 488 fewer structure fires in 2015 than 2014. Residential fires in the state have accounted for about 75 percent of structure fires during the past 15 years. Last year, nearly a third of structure fires were residential fires.


Kwanzaa events will take place across the country, including in Wichita, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the week-long observance.

Kwanzaa, which means "first fruit" in Swahili, highlights African and African-American heritage and culture. Founded in 1966, Kwanzaa is celebrated annually from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.

A member of the African American Council of Elders will light the first of seven candles representing the principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

KMUW file photo

The Kansas Food Bank received a $10,000 donation Wednesday from Union Pacific Foundation. The funds will go toward purchasing food and produce to be distributed to partner agencies throughout Kansas.

The donation is expected to benefit agencies in 85 counties in Kansas.

"An integral part of Union Pacific’s success is the work we do to enhance quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work," Union Pacific Foundation President Scott Moore said in a release.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Kansas was recently ranked one of the top states in the country for number of people who do volunteer work. All this week, the KMUW News team is looking at some local volunteers who are making a difference here in Wichita.

For nearly a decade, African-American men have been giving their time, talent and money to support a youth mentoring organization in Wichita. The volunteers are part of the nonprofit Real Men, Real Heroes, which works with youth from 3rd grade to high school.

Sunday, December 25

Encore show: Christmas day we'll hear joyful Christmas music and conversation from Broadway star Karla Burns and baritone extraordinaire Earnest Alexander. The two talk about collaborating on their holiday release, “A Christmas Celebration.”

Kate Clause / KMUW/File photo

Inter-Faith Ministries in Wichita wrapped up Operation Holiday, a three-day distribution of food, grocery store gift cards and toys for families, on Saturday. However, the need still remains for warm clothing items for their homeless shelters.

More than 13,000 people showed up to collect items for their families during Operation Holiday, 1500 more than expected.


Two of the three men accused of plotting to bomb a Garden City apartment complex where many Somali immigrants live will also face firearms charges. The indictment was filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Wichita.

The previous indictment charged Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Sunday, December 18

Sunday on Soulsations, we introduce a new Christmas song by Wichita artist, Roy Moye III, affectionately called "the singing engineer." Also Angie Stone & Boney James share a soulful jazzy rendition of "Merry Christmas Baby." Plus, Christmas music from two longtime Wichita talents, Broadway star Karla Burns and baritone Earnest Alexander.