Murdoch Books has been sold to Allen & Unwin for an undisclosed sum, the two publishers reported yesterday. The Murdoch Books owner, Matt Handbury, laid off 26 staff in May saying the online sale of physical books had devastated Australian bookstore and other retail sales. Mr Handbury bought Murdoch Magazines from News Ltd in 1991.
Lahey at Echo
The casino operator Echo Entertainment has appointed the former head of Business Council of Australia Katie Lahey to its board. Ms Lahey's appointment as a non-executive director follows several major departures from the Echo board, including the recently announced resignation of its chief executive Larry Mullin. She is now the managing director of Australasia for global recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International. The Echo chairman, John O'Neil, said Ms Lahey would bring extensive business, government and tourism experience to the board.
The pay for the Fairfax Media chief executive, Greg Hywood, rose last year despite hard times at the company. Mr Hywood received $2.02 million in base salary, cash bonuses and shares in 2011-12, with the potential to earn another $646,000 in share grants should performance hurdles be met. He earned a fixed $1.55 million in base salary, with $48,000 in superannuation and other benefits in 2011-12, unchanged from the previous year, along with a performance bonus of $420,000. The performance bonus is half of what he was entitled to under Fairfax's compensation scheme, with Mr Hywood volunteering to forgo half the total "given the difficult trading environment".
Toll traffic dips
The Brisbane toll road operator BrisConnections reported average daily traffic of 74,567 vehicles on the Airport Link last month, down from 81,470 in August. The daily traffic volumes on the toll road and tunnel are well below the 135,000 vehicles a day BrisConnection's traffic forecaster, Arup, had predicted would use it just a month after opening. Airport Link was opened in late July.