Eastman Kodak

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

The Trump Administration has signed a deal to give a $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak, so that the company can produce critical components for pharmaceuticals.

Trump Administration and Kodak officials say this new venture should create at least 300 jobs in Rochester, the home of the 130-year-old company which has had tough times in recent years after digital photography largely replaced film.  A new division will see Kodak produce components used in generic drugs.

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Eastman Kodak has won a $765 million dollar government loan to help expedite domestic production of pharmaceuticals.  The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal which quotes Kodak Executive Chairman Jim Continenza as saying he expect the loan to create about 300 jobs in Rochester, and 30 to 50 jobs in Minnesota.

Federal officials are expected in Rochester late Tuesday afternoon for the official announcement.

In the latest WXXI Business Report, Paychex has seen how efficiently some of their employees are working from home, so it's looking to reduce it's office space footprint.

You'll also hear from the CEO of Kodak Alaris responding to a trade publication claiming the company will sell off some of its assets; and a new venture capital fund is looking for investors who will back local technology companies.

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Eastman Kodak is reporting first-quarter financial results, and they show a decline in both earnings and revenues.

The company saw a net loss of $111 million, compared to an $18 million loss a year ago. Kodak says the change is due in part to tax related charges for locations outside the U.S.

Revenues came in at $267 million, down from $291 million a year ago.

A lot of local companies and organizations are stepping up to help out during the coronavirus pandemic, and that includes Kodak.  The company says it has entered into an agreement with New York state to supply isopropyl alcohol to help with the production of hand sanitizer that the state is making.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in early March that  the state is manufacturing its own hand sanitizer to deal with the shortage of the disinfectant product.


Eastman Kodak is reporting its earnings and sales for 2019, and it’s a mixed picture. Earnings of $116 million were reported on Tuesday, compared to a loss of $16 million a year ago.

Revenues totaled $1.2 billion, a drop of 6% compared to last year.


Dave McDowell must have had an air of mystery about him during his decades as an engineer at Eastman Kodak.

His neighbors, his friends, and even his family had no idea what he was working on, and Dave couldn't tell them, even though they had a lot of questions.

"Constantly, constantly," he recalled. "It was fun at parties sometimes; you would know the other people that were cleared, or had a pretty good idea of who they were, and you would talk in sort of coded words, 'Where are you working? I'm over at Lincoln Plant, Unit 7.' "

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Kodak has been hiring some people over the last couple of years. And many of those positions involve the company’s legacy, the film business.

Kodak recently revealed that it has signed long-term contracts to keep supplying motion picture film to the major Hollywood studios, including Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros.

Eastman Kodak has confirmed reports that it has signed new deals with five major film studios including Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. Those companies have made a commitment to buy film for the foreseeable future.

Kodak has not said at this point how long those contracts are for, but did indicate this is a "long term deal."

Kodak is the last big supplier of motion picture film. Competitor Fujifilm stopped its production in 2013.


As a longtime Rochester resident facing a roomful of city and county movers and shakers, Thomas Tischer alluded to the piles of architectural renderings whose promise never sees the light of day.

"Beyond plans," he said, sitting in the Dryden Theater on Monday morning, "you want reality."