Ian Pickus

News Director

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian has been with WAMC as a producer since late 2008. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard filling in as Morning Edition and Weekend Edition anchor and on The Roundtable, various newscasts, and Any Questions?. An avid fan of sports and music, Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany. He became news director in March 2013.

Ways to Connect

The Strand Magazine
The Strand Magazine

Much like the protagonists of the short stories that run in The Strand Magazine, managing editor Andrew Gulli likes a good literary mystery — and he has built a reputation as a man who can solve them. Periodically we check in Gulli after he has unearthed a new story from long-gone master. Today, he joins us to talk about “The Haunted Ceiling” by H.G. Wells, which runs in the latest issue.

LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport's Facebook page

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a quiz about famous mayors.

Yankee Stadium in 2014.
Ian Pickus

There's news today of labor peace in major league baseball. The owners and players have reportedly reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement that will keep the players on the field for another five years. The news is being hailed by baseball fans who still remember the 1994 strike that wiped out the World Series for only the second time. Joining us to discuss the deal is Rick Burton, the David B. Falk endowed professor of sport management at Syracuse University.

The last time we spoke with Ryan Tedder in 2013, we introduced him by saying perhaps no one was having a greater influence on the sound of modern pop music than him. More than three years later, that reputation has only strengthened. A leading producer and songwriter for the boldest names in music, the Grammy-winning Tedder is also frontman for the group OneRepublic, which just released its new album, Oh My My. And if you think this album marks new terrain for the band, Tedder would probably agree.

The biggest college basketball game of the year in the Capital Region has a new home this year. For the first time in 40 years, the University at Albany-Siena College rivalry game is heading uptown to the UAlbany campus. The women’s teams play at 3 p.m. while the men tipoff at 7. On the men’s side, the site of the game has been a subject of fierce debate between the two programs in recent years — and the debate flared up again this week. Joining us to preview the matchup is Pete Iorizzo, sports editor of the Albany Times Union.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel settle in for a Black Friday show about invisibilia.

New York state government has been rocked by one scandal after another in the past few years, with corruption cases toppling the Assembly and Senate leaders and an ongoing investigation into the executive chamber. Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo released a nearly 1,600-word statement outlining his ethics reform priorities for the legislative session that begins in January. The good-government groups in Albany took note, as New York Public Interest Research Group executive director Blair Horner tells WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Any Questions #273

Nov 18, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a hoppin' good quiz.

As Democrats continue to regroup from last week’s electoral losses, a Congressman from Western Massachusetts says he’s sticking with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Congressman Jim McGovern of the second House district tells WAMC News that he will not back Ohio Representative Tim Ryan’s leadership challenge. Ryan, a seven-term Congressman, says it’s time for a change after the Democrats have lost 60 seats in the past six years. That, and next week's 43-mile hunger march through Western Massachusetts, are among the topics Rep. McGovern discussed with WAMC's Ian Pickus on Friday.

A helicopter over Crossgates on Saturday.
Courtesy Adam Girard

Law enforcement agencies have been responding to Crossgates Mall outside Albany after a report gunfire on Saturday afternoon. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Police in Guilderland got a report around 2:25 p.m. Saturday about shots fired. While details are still coming in, WAMC News spoke with Susan Kondratowicz, who works at a kiosk in Crossgates and was at F.Y.E. when she heard what "I knew immediately were gunshots."

Crossgates was evacuated after reports of an active shooter on Saturday.
Courtesy Adam Girard


 UPDATE: 11/13/16 2:00 p.m.:

Guilderland Police Chief Carol Lawlor said investigators believe an altercation between two men led to a single shot being fired inside the Crossgates Mall around 2:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Lawlor thanked mall patrons for their cooperation with authorities.

Any Questions #272

Nov 11, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with this week's show.

Hugh Johnson
Hugh Johnson

Even before Donald Trump had officially sewn up the White House last night, markets were reacting with volatility. What does the Republican’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton mean in the short term? And what about his policies once he takes office? Economist Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors joined us Wednesday morning to discuss the consequences.

Donald Trump in Plattsburgh.
Pat Bradley

One of the most extraordinary elections in memory is coming to a close tomorrow. The campaign was especially unusual here in the Northeast: Two New Yorkers are facing off for president, and Massachusetts is represented on the Libertarian and Green Party tickets. A Vermonter made a deep run in the Democratic primary. And cities like Albany — usually an afterthought on the presidential campaign trail — found themselves hosting major rallies on both sides of the aisle. With voters heading to the polls tomorrow, we listen back now to what the campaign sounded like on WAMC’s airwaves.

Any Questions #271

Nov 4, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for their last show before Election Day.

Maybe you don’t know him by name, but you definitely know John Simon’s work. A noted musician and songwriter in his own right, Simon produced and played on some of the most important albums of the 20th century, including records by Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, and The Band. Simon’s association with The Band was the occasion for our interview at The Linda. He will be discussing his work with the group at a series of talks in the coming days. It’s all part of The Egg’s New York Living Legacy series focusing on The Band.

Any Questions #270

Oct 28, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return to one of their old favorites this week.

A familiar voice on WAMC as NPR’s first full-time TV critic, Eric Deggans looks at issues both important — the coverage of the presidential campaign, for example — and important in a different way — like how the fall lineup is coming together at the TV upfronts. Deggans, the author of the 2012 book Race-Baiter, was previously with the Tampa Bay Times for two decades. He has also written for the New York Times, Salon, CNN, the Washington Post, and many other outlets. He recently delivered a lecture at Siena College called "Breaking Down the Wall: Decoding Media's Confusing Coverage of Race and Culture" and stopped by WAMC first.

Any Questions #269

Oct 21, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are "back" again.

Any Questions #268

Oct 14, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for the last show before WAMC's Fall Fund Drive.

Fantastic Negrito
Fantastic Negrito

It’s fitting that one of the first shows at the newly reopened Cohoes Music Hall is Fantastic Negrito on October 13. Both Fantastic Negrito and the Music Hall can be seen as throwbacks to a previous era, but both are firmly rooted in the present moment of the arts. Public radio listeners might remember Fantastic Negrito as the winner of the first Tiny Desk Concert contest. Well before that, he also survived a car crash that left him in a coma for several weeks. His latest album is The Last Days Of Oakland.

Any Questions #267

Oct 7, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for this week's edition of Any Questions?

Gov. Mario Cuomo
WMHT

Our friends at WMHT public television are premiering a new documentary tonight at 9. Governor Mario Cuomo: Poetry and Prose focuses on the first Governor Cuomo’s 12 years in office, what he accomplished, and what he didn’t. The film features interviews with more than 40 former Cuomo officials, reporters, legislative colleagues and observers — including our own Dr. Alan Chartock. Governor Mario Cuomo: Poetry and Prose was produced by Matt Ryan, the managing editor of WMHT’s New York NOW.

Any Questions #266

Sep 30, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel head back to the farm.

Graham Nash
Graham Nash

It’s always a thrill when two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Graham Nash is in town, and WAMC listeners have plenty of chances to catch his tour over the next couple of weeks.

Any Questions #265

Sep 23, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with this week's show.

Mike Reiss
Mike Reiss

Put down your steamed hams and get ready for a perfectly cromulent night in Woodstock on Saturday. As part of the Woodstock Comedy Festival, four-time Emmy and Peabody winner Mike Reiss is headlining The Secrets of the Simpsons at the Bearsville Theater at 9:30 p.m. In addition to nearly three decades with America’s favorite family, Reiss has written plays, books and worked on films like Ice Age and Kung Fu Panda.

Any Questions #264

Sep 16, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothangel spend a night at the opera.

Ian Pickus / WAMC

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is making its latest local stop this weekend. The wall is on display through Monday morning.

Any Questions #263

Sep 9, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try out a new category.

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