“It’s a funny day to be on the air,” mused 96.5 The Buzz morning host Afentra on Monday.
You could understand why. Afentra and sidekick Danny Boi were off the air most of last week during a federal jury trial that awarded an Olathe woman $1 million in damages.
In April 2012, the hosts of “Afrentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz” mistakenly identified the woman as a local porn star. She sued for false light invasion of privacy.
Monday morning, Afentra guessed her audience to be larger than usual. Some people probably tuned in listening for mistakes, she said.
And some probably wondered if she and Danny Boi still had jobs.
But the alternative station had announced over the weekend that the DJs would return. And on its Facebook page, this joke: “Listen Monday morning to the only morning show that we know of to actually give away 1 MILLION DOLLARS.”
At least a couple of times Monday, Afentra read a statement from station owner Entercom: “While we were very disappointed in the outcome, we will abide by the jury’s verdict.”
Both hosts acknowledged they were prepared to be fired.
“Damn, a million dollars. … That amount says we don’t like what you do here,” said Afentra (real name: Afentra Bandokoudis).
“ ‘You don’t belong here,’ ” agreed Danny Boi (real name: Daniel Terreros). “That’s what a million dollars says.”
But, Afentra told listeners: “We’re not going anywhere, we’re still on the air, so thrilled to be here.”
Asked for additional comment after their show, Danny Boi referred The Star to an Entercom lawyer, who didn’t immediately respond to an email. Dave Alpert, the Entercom manager who oversees its stations in Kansas City, also couldn’t be reached.
After the “porn star” gaffe, the two hosts were reportedly suspended without pay for two days.
That million-dollar verdict, in favor of plaintiff Ashley Patton, may be the first of its kind in recent Kansas City media history. About the only thing that comes close: a $220,000 indecency fine announced by the Federal Communications Commission in 2004, triggered by Johnny Dare’s morning show on 98.9 The Rock.
The Rock is another Entercom station, and that case involved raunchy interviews with actual porn stars as well as an on-air game of naked “Twister” with female contestants.
But in the category of “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” Afentra and Danny Boi are now trying to raise $1 million for Hope House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
That came about after listeners started offering to “pay off our debt” after the verdict was announced, Afentra said.
That generosity “is telling me we are doing something right,” she said. And “imagine if Hope House had a million dollars, because that amount is a big deal.”
The online “Buzz Million for Hope House” campaign had raised more than $6,000 by late Monday morning.
Buzz listeners took to social media in droves during the trial, using the hashtags #SupportAfentra and #SupportDannyBoi.