Love it, hate it: A survey of L.A. business executives finds general optimism about the local economy, but ongoing gripes about stuff like traffic, taxes and the schools. Almost three-quarters of the executives surveyed expect their companies to do better this year than last. Daily News
Eisner's Topps deal: The famous trading card company has some unhappy shareholders who claim that they were shortchanged in the purchase by Michael Eisner's Tornante Co. and buyout firm Madison Dearborn. Topps board member Stephen Greenberg told Eisner that the company could not discuss a possible buyout until a nasty proxy battle was concluded. But the next day the company got the acquisition ball rolling when it launched buyout negotiations with Madison Dearborn. NY Post
Mixed location bag: Total on-location shooting in L.A. was up 5.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, thanks to a 30 percent gain in TV production. Film location shooting dropped 22 percent, the steepest quarterly decline in five years. Increases in TV production have been offsetting the film declines for many months now. Business Journal
Pressure on grocers: Elected officials who are supporting the United Food and Commercial Workers union in the current contract talks might try to put the squeeze on the major supermarket chains over issues that have nothing to do with the negotiations. That includes challenging liquor licenses and blocking permit applications for expansion. No specific action so far - and let's hope it stays that way. I mean, did we elect local officials to be union enforcers? LAT
Another nine-figure CEO: Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo pocketed $120.3 million last year, a huge bump from his $45.2 million in 2005 (Mozilo usually ranks among L.A.'s top two or three executives). The founder of the nation's largest mortgage lender made $48.1 million in salary, bonuses and stock-based compensation in 2006 - plus $72.2 million in exercised stock options.
Port truckers boycott: It's planned for tomorrow, part of a national immigrant-rights protest. Last year, 14,000 truckers avoided marine terminals on May 1, resulting in widespread work stoppages. For now, port operators plan to maintain normal staffing levels. Daily Breeze