Nelson Doubleday Jr. Dies; Headed Publishing Empire, Radio Company, New York Mets
June 18, 2015 at 4:10 AM (PT)
NELSON DOUBLEDAY JR., the publishing heir who owned DOUBLEDAY BROADCASTING and the NEW YORK METS, among other businesses, died WEDNESDAY (6/17) of pneumonia at his home in LOCUST VALLEY, NY at 81.
DOUBLEDAY worked in the family business after graduating PRINCETON in 1955, rising to Chairman of DOUBLEDAY BROADCASTING and President and CEO of DOUBLEDAY AND CO. by 1978. He remained the President of the parent company until its sale to BERTLESMANN for $475 million in 1986. DOUBLEDAY BROADCASTING owned several stations in the 1980s, including WHN-A and WAPP/NEW YORK, WMET/CHICAGO, WAVA/WASHINGTON, KWK/ST. LOUIS, KDWB/MINNEAPOLIS, KPKE/DENVER, and WLLZ/DETROIT.
In sports, DOUBLEDAY AND CO. bought the METS with partners FRED WILPON and CITY INVESTING CORP. in 1980 for $21.1 million, with DOUBLEDAY holding 80%; DOUBLEDAY and WILPON later bought DOUBLEDAY AND CO.'s interest out for $85 million plus $25 million in assumption of liabilities, then WILPON bought DOUBLEDAY out for $135 million in 2002. DOUBLEDAY, whose ancestor ABNER DOUBLEDAY is often erroneously cited as the inventor of baseball, also had investments at times in the NHL's CALIFORNIA GOLDEN SEALS and NEW YORK ISLANDERS.