A round-up of today's other business news in brief.

Independent to outline cost cutting plan

Independent News Media will brief staff today at its Irish newspaper operation on its latest rationalisation plan.

It is understood that workers at its Talbot Street head office in Dublin will be briefed directly by management this afternoon following the completion by the company of a financial review of its newspaper operations here.

Senior editorial staff were briefed yesterday on the latest cost-cutting measures.

It is not clear what savings will be sought from staff at the Irish papers, which include the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday World and the Evening Herald.

Speculation has mounted that the media group could seek to reduce salaries, outsource more functions and reduce its headcount.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the Sunday Tribune, which is 29 per cent owned by INM, intends to quit its Baggot Street offices and co-locate at Talbot Street with the Independent's other newspapers.

Executive Travel taken over

Dublin-based Executive Travel has been acquired by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) in the United States for an undisclosed sum.

Most of the sum is being paid up front, with the balance part of an earnout over 12 to 24 months, based on performance.

BAA to sell three UK airports

BAA, the British Airports Authority, will almost certainly be forced to sell three of its UK airports, including Gatwick and Stansted, following a provisional report by the Competition Commission.

The commission confirmed that, subject to final consultation, it would require the Spanish-owned airport operator to sell Gatwick in West Sussex and Stansted in Essex, as well as Edinburgh Airport.

Madoff in house detention

Bernard Madoff, the New York financier accused of perpetrating an alleged $50 billion fraud, was yesterday ordered into house detention in his Manhattan apartment as his bail hearing was postponed for a second time.

- (Financial Times service)

Employee numbers fall, Isme reports

Almost half of all firms in the small and medium sector reported a fall in employee numbers in the last three months, according to lobby group Isme's latest quarterly trends survey.

Construction has seen the sharpest falls in employment, with almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents in this sector saying staff numbers were lower now than during the same quarter last year.