PUBLISHINGMurdoch soldMurdoch 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.CASINOSLahey at EchoThe 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.FAIRFAXCEO's payriseThe 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".MEDIBANK PRIVATE SALEGreens unsureThe Greens have not "settled on a view" on whether they would support a sale of the health insurer Medibank Private, which is set to pay more than $850 million in dividends to the federal government in three years. The Greens spokesman Richard Di Natale said Medibank, which expects to pay the government $391 million in dividends in 2012-13, is "not a bad investment".
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