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Southbridge Recollections:

WESO / Esther Costa

WESO Team ~1960 (Esther front row, second from the left)

Esther Costa (center) interview Rose Kennedy

Esthers Obituary (below) and photos supplied by Sara Costa and Esthers family

Esther V. Costa (1920-1998) was a radio broadcaster and personality who helped pioneer women’s radio broadcasting. She aired her first radio show in 1955 on radio station WESO in Webster and Southbridge, Mass.

WESO broadcast on 970 kc. and was licensed as a daytime AM station with a power of 500 watts.

Esther Costa was the women’s director of WESO and broadcast a half-hour daily women’s show. She not only wrote her own radio scripts for the daily show, but she also wrote the ad copy, sold the ads, produced and starred in the show. She held a 3rd Class FCC Radio Engineer’s license and was qualified to run the studio equipment.

Besides family, food and fashion issues, she covered news and features and interviewed hundreds of celebrities. She interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt, Sen. Jack Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Joan Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Gov. Chub Peabody’s wife, the Ambassador from Ireland, the Ambassador from South Africa, singer Eydie Gorme and dozens of others.

She was on the forefront of live broadcasting and did hundreds of live remote broadcasts including the opening of the Massachusetts Turnpike in 1957, which she covered from a helicopter.
During the Flood of 1955, she helped broadcast health and welfare news and provided emergency bulletins nonstop for three days.

Esther Costa served as a commentator and emcee for hundreds of broadcast  special events, fashion shows and breakfasts. She was dedicated to the communities she served and earned a reputation for fair and balanced coverage and for helping the communities’ schools, senior centers and other local institutions.

Esther was married to Paul T. Costa, Sr. and had three sons: Paul T. Jr., Peter, and Mark E. She grew up in Webster, but was a long-time resident of Dudley.


WESO Headquarters (291 Main St) in 1950's and today

Jan Whitney as the Storybook Lady

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