Louise Adler has been appointed to a new role at Hachette Australia, seven months after her controversial resignation from Melbourne University Publishing.
Adler takes up the new role at Hachette immediately, under the title publisher-at-large. “Whilst I’d prefer to be known as thin, I’ve happily yielded to the summons to be publisher-at-large,” Adler said.
She brings four high-profile journalists with her to Hachette’s author stable: the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson, known for The Killing Season, the documentary about the Rudd/Gillard years of the Labor party; Louise Milligan, Four Corners journalist and author of Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell; Sky News political editor David Speers; and Herald Sun sports journalist Mick Warner.
Adler and five of the MUP board quit their posts on 30 January in protest at what they called a “culturally damaging” new strategy for the university publishing house. The new strategy included the establishment of an academic advisory board to steer the publishing house to focus primarily on scholarly titles.
Before taking up the role of publisher and CEO at MUP in 2003, Adler had worked variously as an arts editor for the Age and the Australian Book Review. She also served as a director and president of the Australian Publishers Association, and on the boards of several Melbourne arts and education institutions.
Her role at MUP was partially to revive the fortunes of the ailing publishing house, the strategy for which included expanding its suite of commercial titles.
Adler’s vacated role at MUP was filled by the longtime head of Monash University Publishing, Nathan Hollier, in June.
In her new role at Hachette, Adler will work alongside head of non-fiction Vanessa Radnidge, and report directly to Hachette Australia’s group publishing director, Fiona Hazard.
“I have long admired Louise Adler’s energy, intelligence and stellar publishing,” Hazard said. “Louise has challenged minds and policymakers, and given voice to issues that needed attention.”