Martin family’s fall from influence

November 27, 2010

Nick Martin, one of the heirs to the Martin Media empire, drives an 11-year-old Ford Explorer to a sparsely furnished tract house that he rents for $900 a month on a dead-end street in McFarland, Kansas. [NewYorkTimes]

It is a far cry from the life that Martin and his family enjoyed until recently at their Adirondacks waterfront camp at Tupper Lake, N.Y. Their garage held three stylish cars, including a yellow Aston Martin; they owned three horses, one that cost $173,000; and Mr. Martin treated his wife, Kate, to a birthday weekend at the Waldorf-Astoria, with dinner at the “21” Club and a $7,000 mink coat, according to the Times.

His extravagant life style was fueled by a check Martin received in 1998 for $14 million, his share of the $610 million sale of Martin Media, an outdoor advertising business begun by his father in California in the 1950s.

Edward Martin retired in the 1980s and placed his son Tom Martin and son-in-law David Weyrich at the helm of Martin Media. As a result, when the business sold in 1998, Tom Martin and Weyrich walked away with more than $100 million each while Edward Martin, Nick Martin and his sister Ann Martin received $14 million each from the sale.

Shortly after the sale, Nick Martin and his family left Paso Robles, amid some lingering tensions that Nick Martin felt towards his brother and brother-in law who decided to sell the company and who he says gave him little voice, said the Times.

As did his brother-in-law David Weyrich, Nick Martin and his family blew through their fortune in about a decade.

They faced temptations to indulge, and with the decline in the real estate market, their property holdings became unmanageable.

“We spent too much,” Nick Martin told the Times. “I have a fourth grader, an eighth grader and a girl who just finished high school. I should have kept working and put the money in bonds.”


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21 Comments

  1. Lilylu says:

    Wow…14 million in 10 years and his brother in law, 100 million in 10 years. Gone! I was given an inheritance too. From my single mother who supported 5 chlldren by selling encyclopedias door to door, I was given the inheritance of a good work ethic, honesty, thrift and giving to those less fortunate. And I haven’t lost any of it. I count myself as blessed and successful beyond measure because of the relationships in my life. Hopefully his kids will get that inheritance from him.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. danika says:

    The corn doesn’t grow so tall that it doesn’t eventually fall over under it’s own weight. That defines Mr. Weyrich’s fall from glory…and well deserved.

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
  3. TacomaRose says:

    Anyone that buys a $173,000 race horse and a $7,000 mink coat before assuring their childrens education is an F…ing idiot !!!

    (23) 31 Total Votes - 27 up - 4 down
    • mkaney says:

      That is true. Are you saying he didn’t, or is that just speculation.. because it’s possible he didn’t blow through ALL the money.

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
    • Cindy says:

      The word “broke” is a relative term. What you and I consider broke isn’t what the word necessarily means to a person that blew through millions. If his children each have college funds of “ONLY” 100K, that would be considered broke to some people while others would consider the task of financially assuring a good education complete.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  4. willie says:

    When I was a kid being taught by my uncle how to play the stock market.
    I remember him telling me that the bigger one is the harder they fall.
    Rudyard Kipling (British Poet) said in his poem “IF” Walk among kings but do not lose the common touch!
    I can only imagine the transition not only for him, but his wife and children as well. Usually when one falls that hard, they seldom get back to where they were.
    The one advantage for his children is they are young and have time to find their way – and they will!

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  5. hotdog says:

    Sounds like some foolish spoiled brats who inherited their juice. What about the millions of hard working and frugal folks who got nothing from Daddy? I wonder if any of these pampered fools donated anything to charity? Wayrich proved himself a nasty homophobe over ten years ago when he was trying to be our media king and recently it was reported he stiffed his low paid employees. Creeps.

    (-2) 36 Total Votes - 17 up - 19 down
    • Cindy says:

      hotdog, This isn’t the first time I’ve seen you rag on people over receiving an inheritance. I recall seeing you post that offspring should not receive an inheritance and that a dead mans assets should become the property of the people ie: the gov. The world just doesn’t work like that and there isn’t (hardly) a man or woman alive that doesn’t seek to leave their hard earned assets to their children. You sound envious of those who are fortunate enough to be born into wealth, I suspect that you have a hard time excepting the fact that life isn’t fair. I think you would be happy as a communist.

      (28) 50 Total Votes - 39 up - 11 down
      • hotdog says:

        Wow, Cindy and standup seem to be apologists for the special interests. You two sure are quick to bite at my heels. This whole issue has been a national controversy for decades, in the form of inheritance taxes. Should descendents benefit from the efforts of their ancestors to 100% of value or should the very country that supplied the original creator of that value with the opportunity for such success get some value back to continue our society? By the way, everything within our borders pretty much stems from taxes, not corporate activity. Defense, research, bridges, roads, police and fire protection, blah, blah, blah.

        My two assaulters who feel those born with a silver spoon in their mouth should be allowed to use that opportunity without limit are wrong of course, and to cover their illogical feelings they attack me. Doesn’t matter if Nick was an OK guy many years ago, or if the Martins were OK people etc. We all know that Wayrich married into the dynasty and then misused the resources in some ways, and continues to abuse those ‘beneath him’. Bravo to the propaganda makers for convincing two regular people to lavish praise on those who were handed their fortunes and then squandered them. Bravo for convincing them to attack me for defending the common man (who has to work for a living) and those who need and depend on the goodwill and donations of Americans to survive in this difficult world. Bravo you corporate monsters for getting the rabble to squabble amongst themselves instead of focusing their attention on YOU, the ultimate evil.

        Readers of the article will notice there is little news about the ethics and rise to power of the Martin empire, I wonder if real news about that rise showed vicious or immoral activities if my accusers would modify their opinion? To me it doesn’t matter but would ad fuel to the fire.

        A few prominent and very wealthy people have stated they will NOT leave their entire fortunes to offspring, but rather the bulk will go to charity. Their little kiddies will get a healthy bite but just enough to get them going. And hopefully they will have been raised in an environment where helping those less fortunate is an essential part of life.

        Pretty sad I had to write this note, Pretty bleak you two and many others are so wigged out you can’t even figure out what to do about all this but lavish praise on the sluggards and heap abuse on one of your own. Herein lies the power of the evildoers; I hope you will someday come to your senses.

        (-14) 36 Total Votes - 11 up - 25 down
        • Cindy says:

          hotdog, Sorry you think I was attacking you. I believe that a mans money is his own business and he can do with it as he pleases and give it to who he pleases. If he came by the funds honestly and spends the funds honestly, then it isn’t your business or anyone else’s. You have no right to expect to gain from another man’s work and his bank account, if I am a sick Capitalist, then so be it.

          (9) 25 Total Votes - 17 up - 8 down
        • standup says:

          Hotdog, you crack me up. Out of 610 million, Nick got 14 of that. From that he had to pay 4 mil to the feds to support those poor lazy people that can’t take care of themselves. All those supposedly do-gooders that donate those huge sums to charity are doing so mainly to reduce the tax bite. Your comment about not leaving any money for the kiddies is just plain wrong. If we had to start all over each generation financially and give back our personal life’s gain to the gov’t, we would be a socialistic society, aka working for the government. Companies that take years to keep developing new technology would never get there as the company would have to start over each generation. What if the company was on the brink of developing cold water fusion and the owner died? All those years of hard work would be lost as the buildings and equipment would have to be sold and the technology maybe lost forever. This country would fizzle in one generation. I grew up to learn that hard work pays off. My parents helped me a little through college but I worked 5 days a week basically throughout. My partner and I built our company from scratch. No donations, no support, no nothing. I seriously doubt you would last one day working with us as the work is physically hard, not mentally. Before you start to judge me, you need to look at society as a whole and think real hard if your gov’t owned country ideals are what you really want. Once again, go to Cuba if you want your life dictated by the government.

          (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
      • Nancimeek says:

        I wouldn’t know. My inheritance was shanghaied by Robert Grigger Jones

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • standup says:

      Hey XXXXXX , you did not know Nick Martin obviously by your comments. It is one thing to tell truths and personal observations on this board but you look like the complete idiot speculating as you usually do. I worked under Nick when he was the winemaker at Sylvester Vineyards. What a great guy he was then and probably still is. Is it his fault his father had a successful business? Hell no and you shouldn’t hold that against him. Would you have been happier if all the money was donated to charity? If everyone did that pretty soon we would all depend on charity you fool. That is the way of Socialism. If you like that way of life, move to Cuba. We won’t miss you here. There are a lot of people who lost everything in the economic downturn with real estate. There’s nothing new here. Sorry to hear about you situation Nick. I had fun making wine with you and learned a ton even though I created some special blends by accident.

      (4) 24 Total Votes - 14 up - 10 down
      • Moderator says:

        xxxxxx provided by the moderator who has taken a dim view on twisting misuse abuse of names. when addressing another ‘user’ use the name provided,please.

        (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
    • racket says:

      Hotdog, The NYT article in the link indicates that the first $4 million went to the govt as taxes. I am reminding you that is four million that you and I don’t have to pay.

      Why the attitude?

      Unrelated but funny is the paragraph in the link that says Martin’s purchases declined in value so much they became unaffordable. That’s a different circle than I run in, to have things get so cheap that I can no longer afford them.

      Best of luck to Martin as he puts it all back together.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
      • hotdog says:

        Are you saying that of the $610 million sale $4million was paid in taxes? If so that is a .0066% rate, sound OK to you? Even if you mean just out of wayrich’s bounty that is only 4%. If out of the paltry $14 million each of the other kiddies got (god, I could hardly live on that) then we are talking 28% tax on money they did nothing to get. Gee, that only left them $10 million each to spend at the dollar store. My heart is breaking for these poor deprived folks.

        (-7) 17 Total Votes - 5 up - 12 down
        • racket says:

          Hotdog,

          I think you need to read the article.

          (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  6. racket says:

    Sounds like a heck of a nice guy.

    (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
  7. mkaney says:

    Nice that he has enough humility to admit his mistakes

    (28) 30 Total Votes - 29 up - 1 down

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