Carla Eckels

Director of Cultural Diversity, news & engagement | 'Soulsations' Music Host

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for news and engagement at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 21 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosted 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 also was program director for KIBN, 90.7 The Inspirational Black Network in Wichita. 

In January 2018, she was honored with the Drum Major Award at Wichita State University's MLK Unity Walk.   In April 2016, WSU 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.

Aileen LeBlanc and Carla Eckels have been awarded a prestigious national 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for their news feature looking at the return of ant-abortion demonstrations to Wichita. Eckels is 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 Public Service Announcement, 2nd place: “A Wichita Basketball Coach Overcomes Depression” in 2017 and 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, May 20

Sunday on Soulsations we'll hear the soulful sounds of American Idol’s Ruben Studdard. He has a new release that pays tribute to legendary singer, songwriter and producer Luther Vandross.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Sixty-four years ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down the decision to end legal segregation in the public school system as part of the Brown v. Board of Education case. A new mural is being unveiled Thursday in the Kansas Capitol in Topeka to commemorate that landmark decision.

Sunday, May 13

Listen for the soulful sounds of Stevie Wonder tonight at 6 p.m. on Soulsations. The musical genius turns 68 years old on May 13, and we're celebrating all month long with Stevie Wonder as our May featured artist.

Album Cover Art

Sunday, May 6

Sunday on Soulsations, hear new music from the Funky Divas, En Vogue.  The trio has released their first new album in 14 years.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Gov. Jeff Colyer signed an executive order Wednesday supporting the "Ban the Box" initiative.

The new order requires state agencies to remove a checkbox from their job applications that asks whether someone has a criminal record.

Sunday, April 22

Sunday on Soulsations, join us for an hour of Earth Wind & Fire music. The legendary R&B and funk band, which has sold more than 90 million records, continues to tour including a stint in Las Vegas in May. Hear their engaging music plus a short interview with a super EWF fan, who recounts an unexpected encounter with lead vocalist and percussionist, Philip Bailey.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

The senior veterinarian at the Sedgwick County Zoo is hanging up his stethoscope Saturday.

Album Cover Art

Sunday, April 15

Sunday on Soulsations hear new music from the Temptations.  The legendary group has recorded their first album in eight years called All The Time. The release date worldwide is May 4th. The album includes a mixture of  cover versions of songs by Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Maxwell, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, and The Weeknd, and three new original Temptations songs.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Tony Award nominee and Laurence Olivier Award-winner Karla Burns will once again take center stage in her portrayal of fellow Wichitan and actress Hattie McDaniel in the musical "Hi-Hat Hattie."

Wichita Grand Opera

Wichita Grand Opera is presenting a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" this weekend. The part of Violetta will be sung by soprano Larisa Martinez, who will be making her debut in the lead role on Saturday night. 

Carla Eckels: Your role as Violetta is a very demanding role. How did you go about embracing that?

Larisa Martinez: Prepare, prepare, practice, practice. I've been working on it a long time now — ever since I auditioned and got the role. You need to have a really good vocal technique so that you can make it to the end.

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