Vale John Costello

John Costello, the voice so familiar to many of us in the 80s and 90s delivering traffic reports for 2UW, 2UE, ATN and more, died on January 17, 2024. He’d just turned 79.
This tribute was shared by Trudy Thiele:
“Cossie was the traffic Guru for longer than I can remember.
I don’t know when he started in radio, but I know it was a long innings. First at 2UW in the 1980’s, I believe also at 2Day then 2UE along with Grant Goldman and of course with ATN he was the traffic voice of Mix 106.5 until I think 1997 when The Australian Traffic Network launched in Sydney.
He was poached along with Ian Holland to start up the network in Australia. I was one of his first hires, along with Natasha Grey and John Kesby. There was only 5 of us in a little grubby office above Flyer’s Cafe at Bankstown airport. David Archer joined about a year in.
Cossie was devoted to traffic and radio. He was generous and thoughtful but could also be a hardass.
I spent many many hours with John in that office until we moved to bigger digs on the airport above an air conditioning company, with an aircraft hanger for Ian Holland’s ‘Dutchie’s’ plane. Ian is still the only guy I know who flew to work each day. 
From there, as ATN expanded quickly. John and I moved to the luxury of the 39th floor of the Hyundai building in North Sydney with panoramic views of The Harbour Bridge. Probably 1997.
This was all before the interweb. We did reports from UBDs on our laps, with ads typed up on coloured paper and two way radios held together with rubber bands and sticky tape. 
Cossie was soooo full of energy and life he hated sitting still.
His gorgeous wife Sue was actively involved in the traffic network set up and was always available to help. They did everything together. John as National Operations Manager oversaw the set up and expansion of ATN across the country and with his son Nathan also launched in Japan. He was in Japan most of 2000 and I became Operations Manager in Sydney. We worked very closely.
He was a giant man with a booming voice, so when he would bring his teeny tea-cup poodle to work, well it looked ridiculous. But he loved that dog.
John and Sue had been married for 57 years, I know because they were married on the day I was born.
John and Sue retired to Forester about 20 years ago, he had planned that for as long as I knew him. He was still working. They ran an Italian restaurant for a while, I remember popping in once, and then a cleaning business He hated doing nothing.
He gave me my first real break in radio. I’d come from television and Truck Radio at Mix. The interview, in those days, consisted of going up in the plane. If you didn’t throw up you were hired. He was impressed I turned up an hour early at 5AM. I wanted that gig soooooooooo bad.
Sincerest condolences to Sue Nathan and Lisa. Forever grateful. John Costello, I will miss you.”
Pictured is John and Susan.

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20 Jan 2024 - 6:34 pm

I remember him on 2UW and was sponsored by All Purpose Messages. I think it might have been Wayne Rogers or Malcom T made up a All Purpose Jingle about loosing a parcel or a box, loosing all the keys that fit your locks. John was a great guy. I bumped into him on his property up north west Sydney many years ago. Thanks John You got me to work on time many times.

Scott Thomson
22 Jan 2024 - 8:39 am

I can remember listening to John Costello on the Malcolm T Elliot breakfast show on 2UW in 1975


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