Carmen, radio station B95’s popular on-air personality, has started a personal YouTube channel, and the Valley’s favorite Latina drops a bombshell in her introductory episode.
The name of the channel: Nancy AF. The “AF” can be interpreted as meaning “as heck” (it’s not “heck,” though; it’s a word we can’t repeat here). It also can stand for “as friends,” since she plans to feature guests.
As for the “Nancy” part, it’s safe to say her fans were surprised to learn Carmen isn’t her real name.
“First things first. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘So what the hell, who is Nancy?’” she says in the video. “Well, allow me to reintroduce myself: My name is Nancy” she says, as an appropriate Jay Z’s song plays in the background.
Carmen is known for co-hosting B95’s morning show, CK and Carmen, and the iheartradio station’s midday show. She previously co-hosted the “Juice Crew Morning Show” with Greg Hoffman and Andre Covington until the men left the station in 2013. She has become a mainstay in the Fresno radio scene, where she got her start as an intern and night show host.
In her new YouTube episode, Carmen tells her fans the back story to her on-air name.
“Nancy has been my name since birth,” she says. “Carmen began as my intern name, which began as a nickname that was given to me by my program director, which was my co-host at the time.”
“The reason why he wanted me to be named Carmen was, he basically said ‘I need you to make a name for yourself that is as Hispanic as can be,’” she says. “What he really wanted to say is, ‘I need you to be a beaner on the radio.’” (This is followed by a mariachi clip.)
She was given a list of names to choose from that included Reyna, Rosa, Maria, Carmen.
Her response: “Um, these are all my tías’ names, for sure. I don’t care what name you give me. Whatever you choose, I’m just happy to be on the radio.”
Ultimately the program director chose Carmen for its sex appeal.
When she was hired at the station, she stuck with Carmen because that’s how listeners knew her.
“So my real name is Nancy,” she says as the “Hallelujah” chorus plays. “I’ve been wanting to say that forever, guys.”
On Facebook, Carmen said she’s been holding onto this, her “biggest secret,” for 11 years.
Carmen said in an email to The Bee that many people familiar with the back story about her radio name considered it racist. She disagrees. It was the station’s way of reaching its listener demographic, she said.
“Now, sexist? Umm, I would say it was a little bit,” she said.
Looking back, she does regret sticking with Carmen while on the air. “I eventually regretted that because I felt like I was living like Hannah Montana with two different lives,” she said.
But don’t worry. Her on-air personality is totally authentic.
“I can honestly say Carmen is Nancy, and Nancy is Carmen 100 percent,” she said. “One thing I definitely fought for throughout my career in radio was to be as real as can be. … I said ‘fought for’ because in the beginning of my career, I had to come off as a certain kind of persona on air, and I hated it. I always disliked when I couldn’t have my own opinion on something for the sake of playing a role.
“Whether you call me Carmen or Nancy, I am as real as can be – sometimes a little too real, but that’s what makes me, me!”
Confused about how you should address her? She’ll address that in her next video.
If you’re interested in her new YouTube channel, she plans to share more personal content there, such as relationship experience, what it’s like to be a single mom, recipes, and a bit more about her two kiddos.