WXXI AM News

Kodak

Kodak and Rochester and forever linked in history through boom times and economic challenges.

The company that helped people the world over preserve their special moments has its own moments preserved here in Rochester.

WXXI's Helene Biandudi and videographer Marty Kaufman take us on a trip through Kodak's past with a visit to the company's archives, which Kodak donated to the University of Rochester in 2004. Click on the video box below to wathc the story.

Like many winter days in upstate New York, it's cold and gray in Rochester. But today feels darker than usual because when we woke up this morning, we learned that Eastman Kodak was filing for bankruptcy. We could all feel it coming, but it was still a shock. There is no conversation in Rochester today that won't include the decline of Kodak. Even in the line at the coffee shop this morning everyone here is talking about it.

A few local residents living around former Kodak Park are recalling the days of old when the film giant was Rochester's top employer.

Merrill is a quiet long street neighboring what’s now Eastman Kodak's Business Park between Lake and Dewey Avenues. Traveling along its spacious road, over random speed bumps, small billows of smoke could be seen coming from the company’s stacks behind the homes. The parking entrance to Kodak’s Rubik's Cube Research Lab Office Building is on this street.

Special Kodak Programming on WXXI-TV

Jan 19, 2012

WXXI-TV presents a special night of Kodak programming beginng at 8:00 p.m. with an hour-long live special featuring stories about the Eastman Kodak Company's past, present and future.

Filmmaker Shares Kodak’s Cold War History

Jan 19, 2012

Local filmmaker Corey Robinson has documented a long-hidden piece of Kodak history: its role in the development of spying technology used during the Cold War.

The Gambit program was something Kodak workers were not allowed to talk about until recently.  Robinson detailed their story and a recent gathering of these “stateside spymasters” in the short film you can see in the video box below.

Kodak Creditors Uncertain of Chapter 11 Future

Jan 19, 2012

Eastman Kodak owes a lot of money to a lot of people.

According to Kodak's bankruptcy filing [PDF], the struggling photography pioneer owes hundreds of millions to banks and manufacturing firms.

The company also owes tens of millions more to movie studios (Sony, Paramount, Disney), retailers (Walmart, CVS, Staples) and tax collectors (New York State Department of Taxation and Finance).

Kodak also owes $1.7 million to Rochester-based Optimation.

"We're hopeful that we'll see at least a large percentage of the money," Optimation President Bill Pollock* said Thursday morning. "But at this point in time, it's not clear what the court will say and how creditors are going to be paid."

EKRA, an association of Kodak retirees, announced Thursday that it will take steps to protect the interests of Kodak retirees in bankruptcy proceedings.

EKRA President Bob Volpe spoke with WXXI's Alex Crichton on WXXI-AM 1370 Thursday morning. Click on the audio player above to listen tot he interview.

“While we are saddened by the Kodak bankruptcy filing, we will now execute the plans that we have already prepared in anticipation of bankruptcy to fight for retirees' pensions and benefits,” said Bob Volpe, President of EKRA.

Analyst Reaction to Kodak Bankruptcy Filing

Jan 19, 2012

Eastman Kodak's bankruptcy filing early Thursday morning is no surprise to many analysts. Over the past several months, there had been extensive rumors and predictions that bankruptcy reorganization would come.

George Conboy of Brighton Securities is a lifelong Rochesterian. He has followed Kodak closely and talked with WXXI News Director Julie Philipp about the news, what it means to the company, its employees and Rochester.

Click on the audio player above to hear the interview.

 

Kodak Bankruptcy FAQ's for Employees

Jan 19, 2012

Kodak's  early morning bankruptcy announcement came with a website detailing many aspects of the company's transitional plan.

Among those details on the KodakTransforms.com website are a series of Frequently Asked Questions directed at specific groups including  employees. We've included that FAQ list below:

Bankruptcy Message from Kodak CEO Antonio Perez

Jan 19, 2012

Kodak CEO Antonio Perez discussed the company's bankruptcy in a video announcement on a special website created by the company.

The site KodakTransforms.com was publicized early Thursday morning as the company first announced its plans to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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