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

Lulu Garcia-Navarro
NPR/Stephen Foss

If you’re like me, you usually spend your Sundays with coffee and WAMC, waiting for the NPR Puzzle. And there’s been a change in recent weeks on Weekend Edition Sunday: a new host. Lulu Garcia-Navarro was previously stationed in Rio de Janeiro and has also reported from Mexico and the Middle East. She says it's a unique time in journalism history.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are stuck in the middle with each other.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are just two pawns on a quiz show.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with the latest episode of Any Questions?

Albany Times Union columnist Paul Grondahl, a titan of journalism in the Capital Region for more than three decades, will leave the paper Feb. 17 to run the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany, where he earned a master's in English.

Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about initials.

Updated: 6:38 p.m. 1/27/2017

Hudson Valley Congressman John Faso, a Republican from New York’s 19th Congressional district, appeared to contradict recent statements he made on WAMC about his stance on the future of Planned Parenthood funding in a secret recording reported on by the Washington Post on Friday. But in an interview with WAMC later in the evening, Faso said he does not favor defunding Planned Parenthood and prefers the "status quo" when it comes to the organization that provides reproductive health care services.

A UMass survey found 14 percent of Trump supporters say more people are in the bottom photo. Why?
Associated Press

An article in the Washington Post caught our eye the other day. It described a study that looks into how respondents’ political beliefs may influence the way they answered simple questions about one of the persistent political scandals of our era — crowd size at the Trump inauguration. UMass Amherst Professor Brian Schaffner, director of the UMass poll, co-wrote the article. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus about the experiment and its findings.

Albany Devils logo
Albany Devils

The American Hockey League realignment process is continuing — and this time, the victim is Albany, which has seen highs and lows since its downtown arena became home to the River Rats in 1993. The franchise, which was eventually renamed the Devils, has had affiliations with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes. But now, the franchise is slated to relocate to Binghamton, according to a report by Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union, who spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Charles Ross with a lightsaber
Charles Ross

The Star Wars universe has been expanding rapidly in recent years, from 2015’s The Force Awakens, which continued the original series through Episode VII, to 2016’s Rogue One, a standalone prequel. But most fans of the series reserve their fondest memories for the original trilogy — and our guest is still fighting the Battle of Endor. Charlie Ross brings his One Man Star Wars Trilogy back to Proctors in Schenectady on Saturday. It’s a tour-de-Force, so to speak, in a black box setting, with Ross performing everything from Chewbacca to John Williams’ score.

Ian Pickus / WAMC

Women's rights advocates marched to the New York state capitol on Saturday, part of a day of national protests.

The ACLU loho
ACLU

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for their weekly quiz.

Rep. Richard Neal
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Among the attendees at Friday’s presidential inauguration and the Congressional luncheon afterward was Richard Neal of Massachusetts’ first House district. First elected in 1988, Neal was one of the senior Democrats at the ceremony as Republicans cemented control of Washington. Neal spoke about President Donald Trump’s address late Friday with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Albany's JCC
Albany JCC

Albany Police responded to a bomb threat made against the Jewish Community Center on Whitehall Road this morning. Police say they used three bomb-sniffing dogs to sweep the building. No explosive devices were found, and staff and children were allowed back in. Albany Police spokesman Steve Smith says it’s unclear if the threat, made by a female caller, is connected to other threats against JCCs around the country today.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show about twins.

First Night Saratoga marks the New Year.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for the first show of 2017.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show including leftover questions from throughout 2016.

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

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about playwrights.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show about the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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."

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