Walter Nelson Thayer III, former president of the New York Herald Tribune and a senior partner of Whitcom Communications Co., died from complications of emphysema Saturday at a New York City hospital.
Thayer, 78, was president of the New York Herald Tribune from 1961 to 1966, when the newspaper, owned by J.H. Whitney & Co., ceased publication.
In 1967, he became president of the Board of Directors of the International Herald Tribune--the Paris edition of the old New York Herald Tribune--a post he held until his death.
He also served as both senior partner of Whitcom Investment Co. and chairman of its principal operating entity, Whitney Communications Co. The company owns 40 community newspapers and several cable television stations.
Long active in the Republican Party, Thayer served as a member of the Commission on Government Reorganization during the first administration of President Richard M. Nixon.