James Bickers, known to many readers of this site as the former editor for KioskMarketplace.com, died after a long illness on Sept. 29, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.
The journalist, who also was a local celebrity for his work in radio, was 45 years old. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and three school-age children, Miles, Lucy and Ellery.
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Bickers began his career at Networld Media Group in 2005 as the editor of KioskMarketplace.com. Later, as he watched self-service technology increasingly be deployed alongside flatscreens with bespoke content, he pitched to Networld the idea for a site that would cover display technology and its new and varied uses. The resulting site, DigitalSignageToday.com, quickly became one of the best trafficked and most profitable sites for the tech publisher. Ever the entrepreneur, he used his broadcasting gifts to create a strong webinar program for Networld sites, created a research department that produced high-end reports for site readers, and developed and launched another Networld property, RetailCustomerExperience.com.
In addition to his work behind the keyboard and the microphone, Bickers frequently attended tradeshows and hosted several summits for Networld before leaving to take what he referred to his as his “dream job,” morning host of the local NPR affiliate, WFPL.
“James was one the most creative, talented people I’ve ever worked with,” said Joseph Grove, the former executive editor of Networld Media Group, who hired Bickers in 2005 after being impressed with his freelance work.
“Not only that, he was also among the kindest,” said Grove, who now works in marketing for Olea Kiosks “There were many, many days when he was swamped with reporting duties, webinar assignments and research deadlines. But he’d still drop everything to volunteer to help a co-worker. I came to value him as a friend, and his death is a huge blow to me and to the thousands of people who read his work or listened to him on air.”