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

Neo Soul/New Single

May 13, 2016

Sunday, May 15

Sunday on Soulsations we'll hear new music from contemporary R&B artist Maxwell including "Lake by the Ocean". The new single from one of the pioneers of the "neo soul" movement is featured in the second installment of his musical trilogy. The first album in the trilogy, BLACKsummers'night, was released in 2009. 

Hugo Phan / KMUW

The Lord's Diner is gearing up to feed more people this summer. Last year, the food kitchen saw a dramatic increase in need, and it expects this summer to be the same.

The Lord’s Diner provides more than 2,000 free meals per day. Last summer, that number increased to 3,000.

There are sites downtown and in the Plainview neighborhood, but it's the food trucks that see the most traffic. On Wednesday, 970 meals were served from the truck at the Hilltop Community Center, and 540 meals from the truck near Evergreen Recreation Center.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sliding down poles to fight fires may eventually become a thing of the past, including here in Wichita. But there’s one place where the steel poles remain: at the two-story fire station downtown. Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell talks with KMUW’s Carla Eckels about using the fire poles, even as a rookie.

Carla Eckels

A dedication of Wichita's Redbud Trail will take place Saturday. Bicyclists, walkers and joggers will celebrate the completion of the walk and bike trail, which connects Hydraulic & I-135 to 17th & Oliver Streets in Wichita.

The trail is not just a trail--there are history lessons along the way and three art plazas depicting the history of several of Wichita's pioneers. The trail also depicts several significant events, including the Dockum Drug Store sit-in.

Laura Chimera / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita Fire Department officials say careless cigarette smoking is one of the major causes of fires in the city--and some of the fires have been deadly.

Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says the Wichita Fire Department always emphasizes the importance of smoke alarms and early detection of smoke to help people successfully escape a house fire. He says careless cigarette smoking continues to be a part of Wichita’s residential fire problem.

Sunday, May 8

It’s the birthday month of Stevie Wonder.  The musical genius will be 66 years-old on May 13th. We’ll celebrate with his signature tunes all month long. Also hear music from vocalist-pianist Frank McComb. His tenor voice can sound eerily like Stevie Wonder.  

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers approved a bill today aimed at changing welfare policies and reducing prescription drug costs within the state's Medicaid program known as KanCare. The measure is now headed to Gov. Sam Brownback for approval or veto.


As we near Mother’s Day, lots of people will express their love for women who’ve made a difference in their lives. Cherrie Dennis Cottner has found a way to honor her late mom and many others through an all-female play she’s written called Matters of the Heart.

Sunday, May 1

Sunday on Soulsations, hear Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Tasha Cobbs. The soul-stirring singer will be one of the headliners during the Gospel portion of Riverfest in Wichita, June 6th. Cobbs heads The iLead Escape (, a global ministry mentorship program that aids 2,000 mentees in music ministry.  She also released a book called WORSHIP 101, a manual that revisits the basics of worship.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

People who have spent time in jail can learn about employment opportunities at a job fair Saturday at Wichita's St. Mark United Methodist Church.

The job fair will assist people who find it hard to get employed after being incarcerated. Coordinator Dennis Wilkinson says these men and women are highly motivated.

"And they really want to change their lives, they really want to move forward and they really want a chance," Wilkinson says. "We're asking employers to give people an opportunity to prove what they can do."