Remembering Jaroslav


JUDr. Jaroslav Košťál, CSc., who was for several years head of audience research at Czech Radio,  joined GEAR in 1987  when the meeting was in Budapest. He remained in GEAR until he left Czech Radio in the early 1990s  to set up his own research company which was then later taken over by one of the big companies, probably TNS.   He retired from research in the early 2000s and kept in touch. He visited the Myttons several times,  and Janet and Graham enjoyed his hospitality also often  Prague, especially going to Prague’s several opera performances. Jaroslav stayed with Graham last in 2016 and  of course he came to GEAR Plus in Prague in 2017.

Jaroslav and Graham had met at the 1984 IAMCR conference in Prague. Graham was invited by Jaroslav to go and see his department at Czech Radio. Being in a tightly controlled and intrusive communist regime and with a communist apparatchik in the office with him there was a limit to what he was able or free to say. After an hour or so Graham got up to leave and Jaroslav accompanied him out of the building on his way to the Metro. As soon they  were in the street, Jaroslav said “Now we can talk.” Both were good friends for the next  34 years.

 Between 1984 and 1989 Jaroslav rarely felt able to contact Graham, except when he went on holiday somewhere else in another Warsaw Pact country. Then he would send a postcard. Then in 1989 he telephoned to say with some understandable enthusiasm that “It is all over!”

We all will miss him.   Jaroslv died at 75. He had three children,  two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

by Graham Mytton