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, 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.

Kansas Tourism, flickr Creative Commons

A major renovation will take place at the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka, thanks to a grant given Monday to the state’s historical foundation--the largest in the organization’s history.

The Dane G. Hansen Foundation of Logan presented the check for $1 million dollars to the Kansas Historical Foundation. The grant will support the renovation of the museum’s entrance gallery.

Navigators are preparing for an event in Wichita next week to help consumers decide on a health insurance plan. Coventry insurance will no longer be offered, so consumers will need to pick another option in the federal marketplace.

Michael F., flickr Creative Commons

Beginning Wednesday, portable traffic signs will be placed in high-volume shopping areas in Wichita to remind people to be aware of the possibility of increased incidents of theft and vandalism during the holiday season.

The portable traffic message signs--often seen in construction zones and throughout the city's shopping areas--will warn shoppers to “Hide Your Items, Take your Keys, Lock Your Vehicle."

Courtesy Dianne Waltner

This Thanksgiving, vegans and vegetarians in Wichita are finding savory alternatives to turkey.

Local vegetarian and vegan expert Dianne Waltner hasn't eaten meat in more than 25 years. Waltner says tofurkey, instead of turkey, is an old standby that she likes--but some don’t. She says other options include a holiday plant-based roast that comes with gravy, as well as a cranberry-hazelnut roast in a puff pastry.

"That is really wonderful!" she says. "That's one that we are going to be having for Thanksgiving."

Wichita State University College of Engineering

Kansas is working towards a goal of increasing the number of college graduates majoring in engineering.

Kansas has a multi-year plan to increase the number of engineering degrees each year until they reach 1365 graduates by 2021. The initiative includes more than $100 million in funding by the state Legislature for Wichita State, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Nearly 8000 motorists in Wichita have had their driver’s licenses suspended this year. Many of them find it difficult to pay the fines to be reinstated. Residents will get a second chance to resolve traffic obligations next month through a new amnesty program offered by the city.

Pawel Loj, flickr Creative Commons

Ahead of the holiday, 1500 Thanksgiving food boxes are set to be given away Saturday by a church in west Wichita.

Central Community Church will open up their parking lot for motorists to pick up Thanksgiving dinner. Last year the church distributed a thousand boxes--this year, even more. Missions Pastor Aaron Varner says it’s a way for the church to be a blessing to the community, and everyone is welcome.

Sunday, November 22

This Sunday Soulsations features Thanksgiving music! Hear an hour of R&B and gospel tunes about being grateful and giving thanks including Sly and the Family Stone, William DeVaughn, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Clark Sisters and The Williams Brothers.