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.”