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

Checkpoint Charlie in 1963
Roger Wallstadt on Wikipedia Commons

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are "swapping spots" this week for a show about alliteration.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer
Tom Wall

Five years after his comeback bid for New York City Comptroller fell short, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is making a rare return to electoral politics today. The Democrat, who resigned the governorship in 2008 during a prostitution scandal, has endorsed former cable news host Dylan Ratigan in Tuesday’s primary for New York’s 21st Congressional district seat. Five Democrats — Ratigan, Tedra Cobb, Emily Martz, Patrick Nelson and Katie Wilson — are running in hopes of facing second-term Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik in November. Spitzer discussed his decision to weigh in on the race and other political issues with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Mike Reiss as drawn by Matt Groening.
The Simpsons

You might remember Mike Reiss from writing such films as "Ice Age," "Kung Fu Panda" and "The President's Neck is Missing." OK, that last one is actually from Reiss’ longest-running gig in the writers’ room on Fox behemoth "The Simpsons," where he was also co-showrunner for the show’s pivotal third and fourth seasons. The Emmy and Peabody winner has been delivering a presentation on the show for many years , and has now released a new book: "Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies From a Lifetime of Writing for 'The Simpsons.'"

A horse
Jim Levulis / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back in the saddle again.

Stephen Stills and Judy Collins
Stephen Stills and Judy Collins

On the afternoon of June 17th, Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts will be the latest stop for two musical legends who only recently — finally — started working together. Last fall, Judy Collins and Stephen Stills, whose fiery relationship in the 1960s led to the classic CSN song "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," came together for a new album, "Everybody Knows."

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve no doubt done years of mental gymnastics — trying to imagine an alternate universe in which Bill Bucker stops a World Series grounder, Butler sinks a buzzer-beater in the NCAA championship game, or Wally Pipp decides to stick it out at first base. Mike Pesca, of the podcast The Gist, is more interested in even bigger alternate realities. A frequently heard voice on WAMC, the longtime NPR sports reporter is out with a new book: "Upon Further Review: The Great What-Ifs In Sports History." In it, he has gathered a murderers' row of sportswriters and other cultural critics to probe at some of the underlying issues that link society and sports.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark the end of the Fund Drive with a show about various misters.

Chocolate espresso cake
The Galley Gourmet

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate a very special day.

The seven Democrats running in hopes of unseating Congressman John Faso of New York’s 19th district are set to debate Thursday at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio.

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

NCAA lacrosse tournament logo
NCAA

The University at Albany’s men’s lacrosse team has become one of the nation’s top programs in recent years, with player of the year award-winners and booming attendance. This year, UAlbany beat lacrosse giant Syracuse and notched its first No. 1 ranking. But on Saturday, the Great Danes are taking a big step forward: their first trip to the Final Four.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to hit the speed of sound.

Keith Hernandez is a former National League MVP, batting champion, two-time World Series champ, and a beloved New York Met — both on the field and in the broadcast booth. As we found out this spring, he's also pretty good on Twitter. His new book is called “I’m Keith Hernandez,” an account of his early years before the ’82 Cards and the ’86 Mets.  We talked about Hernandez’s childhood, the 2018 Mets, and how the sport is changing. 

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a fill-in-the-blanks quiz.

Caddyshack: The Making Of A Hollywood Cinderella Story
Caddyshack: The Making Of A Hollywood Cinderella Story

We’re going to talk now about a Cinderella story out of nowhere that remains a cultural touchstone nearly four decades after filming began on an unsuspecting golf course in Florida. According to a new book by Chris Nashawaty, despite being made by an inexperienced director on a drug-fueled set, “Caddyshack” cemented the film legacy of its stars, furthered the “National Lampoon” brand, and gave the sports world an entire rolodex of new catchphrases. Nashawaty’s book is called “Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story.”

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Updated 9:05 a.m. May 8, 2018

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will resign after The New Yorker published a piece outlining graphic assault allegations from four women against the second-term Democrat. New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie were among the prominent Democrats calling for Schneiderman to resign in the hours after The New Yorker published its story. 

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats to make the jump to hyperspace.

Siena's new men's basketball coach, Jamion Christian, addresses reporters Wednesday.
Jamion Christian

Coming on the heels of one of its worst seasons and a tumultuous spring, Siena College has named its new men’s basketball coach.

One of the most rewarding things about my job as news director at WAMC is getting to work on special events at our performing arts studio, The Linda. Over the years, we have produced well-attended political debates, forums on controversial topics in the news like fracking, immigration and the environment, and even an exclusive interview with Preet Bharara, who was then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Any Questions #348: _o_o

Apr 27, 2018

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for another Friday quiz.

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio will host a live debate among the Democratic candidates for New York's 19th Congressional district seat held by Republican John Faso on May 31 from 1-2:30 p.m. at The Linda in Albany. The primary and general election in the district are among the closest-watched in the country in this election cycle.

Carl Kasell
CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show dedicated to the memory of NPR's Carl Kasell, who died this week at 84.

Mary Gauthier headshot
Mary Gauthier

When we last spoke with the musician Mary Gauthier a year ago, she was engaged in a sprawling new project — taking the words of America’s war veterans and making songs out of them. The raw lyrics and personal reflections form the backbone of Gauthier’s new album, her 10th: "Rifles and Rosary Beads." authier will be taking the songs and more from her terrific catalog on the road in the coming weeks, including several dates in our listening area.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for another quiz.

Adam Goldberg on a bed
Adam Goldberg

You probably know Adam Goldberg from his acting career. He has appeared in films and TV shows like "Saving Private Ryan," "Dazed and Confused," "A Beautiful Mind," "The Hebrew Hammer," "Zodiac," "Fargo," "Taken" and many more. But Goldberg has also had a long career in music, recording albums and scoring films.  His latest is HOME: A Nice Place To Visit.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer are back....ward and forward.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats to get ready for April.

The last two national champions in women’s college basketball will meet Monday night in Albany with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

Any Questions #343: L-A

Mar 23, 2018
The seal of L.A.
L.A.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats once again this week.

Before he shot to fame as the scene-stealing Jian-Yang on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and in the film “Patriots Day,” Jimmy O. Yang was an immigrant from Hong Kong, learning about English and comedy by watching BET and trying to fit in in California. Yang’s traditional upbringing and his parents’ expectations collided with Yang’s experiences DJ-ing at a strip club and slowly building a standup comedy career. Yang recounts his journey in a new memoir called "How To American: An Immigrant’s Guide To Disappointing Your Parents."

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