What you didn’t see: ‘Bo Snerdley’ debuts highly-anticipated iHeart podcast, an evocative window into Rush Limbaugh’s life

James “Bo Snerdley” Golden, the longtime producer and call-screener for the late Rush Limbaugh, premiered a highly-anticipated new podcast this week on iHeart Radio.

The new podcast, “The Man Behind The Golden Microphone,” will endeavor to show that there was more to the talk radio giant than just his politics and often bombastic personality, according to Golden. Limbaugh passed away in February after battling lung cancer.

Appearing Thursday night on Fox News’s “Hannity,” Golden said there are still times today that he has trouble accepting Limbaugh’s death.

“For the first few days I couldn’t talk at all about it,” he said. “And I still get choked up, and I still find myself getting weepy at odd times, just random times, something will trigger it, and you know, it’s just something you have to learn to live with.”

Host Sean Hannity also revealed that Golden lost his mother the same week that Limbaugh died, equating it to getting “hit with the two shotguns, double-barreled shotguns.”

(Video: Fox News)

That emotion was on display last week when Golden accepted the “Lee Greenwood Patriot Award” on behalf of his late friend and talk radio legend at a Palm Beach, Fla., gala to honor wounded military veterans. Calling Limbaugh “the greatest broadcaster,” he spoke of President Joe Biden taking office to say his friend “left his office and returned his talent to the God that had given it to him.”

Golden spent more than 30 years as the Excellence In Broadcasting (EIB) Network producer, and he told host Sean Hannity that off the air, Limbaugh was a different person, quiet and humble, a far cry from his on-air personality.

“Rush was very often, after the show at least, quiet … he was not this braggadocios all the time,” he shared. “There was Rush Limbaugh, the guy that was behind the Golden EIB mic, who presented an amazing show that continued to grow for 33 years… and then off the mic he was a very humble, loving, gentle spirit, and he was generous beyond measure.”

The podcast is a series of 12 episodes and Golden said it will feature stories about the side of Limbaugh most did not see.

In addition to the new podcast, Golden recently launched a Saturday radio program at WABC in New York City — the station was the flagship for “The Rush Limbaugh Show” when it launched in 1988 and for many years afterward.

In his early twenties, Golden worked as a Marketing and Research Director at radio station WWRL. He also co-hosted a political call-in show from 1992 to 1998 on WABC radio with Joel Santisteban, called “The James and Joel Show.”

Limbaugh fans adore ‘Bo’ and are not shy about showing it. He is asked daily about continuing Limbaugh’s legacy behind the EIB microphone.

Last month, when the podcast was first announced, Golden spoke with BizPac Review about how honored he was to share Rush’s story.

“It is a tremendous honor to host this tribute podcast series and I will do my very best to make Rush proud and provide his vast audience with a true representation of our beloved host,” he said.

In the new podcast, Golden shares his own unique perspective of the amazing journey he experienced.

“It’s a heartwarming, emotional and revealing testimony, particularly as James takes us through Rush’s final year on the radio,” the iHeart description of the first episode reads.

Titled “Most Difficult Day,” Golden talked about getting a call on his way to work the day Limbaugh announced on air that he’d been diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer.

“I was on my way to work when I got the call,” he explained. “There was going to be a meeting, and instantly — butterflies in my stomach. We never have meetings. maybe two over the last thirty years. Maybe two. ‘Rush wants to meet with the staff.’ We knew, I knew, something’s wrong.”

Remarkably, Golden also revealed that he had just been undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

“I walked down that hall after him and opened the door and went into his studio. He was standing,” he said, after Rush announced his diagnosis. “And I went over to him and gave him a hug, and I told him that I loved him and that everything was gonna be okay and that I felt confident in it. What I have not revealed publicly until now was that I had just finished my own bout with cancer. I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.”

Back in February, when Limbaugh “returned his talent to God,” as Golden said at the time, he described him as “a second-generation founding father” while talking about the impact he had.

“This went beyond radio. This went beyond politics, what Rush did for America,” he said. “One man changed so many trajectories in this country. When Rush began his career, there were 1200 radio stations roughly doing the talk radio format. Today, there are over 12,000. The number of print conservative publications, very few. Today, a flourishing market. There was no Fox TV. There was nowhere on TV that you could get conservative ideology, that you could get the values that represent what most Americans believe until Rush, he changed the media. He changed the landscape.”

 

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Tom Tillison

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