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

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

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.

Some of the most memorable moments in sports history aren’t highlights, but snapshots — photographs of a brief time that define a game or an athlete for generations. Indeed, during the recent Rio Olympics, it was a Getty composite of sprinter Usain Bolt that went viral — not a video of his race. Many of these photos—and other, lesser known examples—are gathered in the new book Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to Present, by photography expert Gail Buckland. The book is published by Knopf.

Any Questions #262

Sep 2, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats to kick off the sixth season.

Ian Pickus and E.J. Dionne
Sarah LaDuke

E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post is a frequent presence on WAMC's airwaves, discussing the news of the week with David Brooks each Friday on All Things Considered. On Friday, he did his NPR segment from WAMC's studios in Albany and stopped by the Roundtable during his visit. His latest book Why The Right Went Wrong is now out in paperback.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A longshot has won the marquee race at Saratoga Race Course in the fastest time in history.

Any Questions #261

Aug 26, 2016
The flad of Chad

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel chad it up this week.

Any Questions #260

Aug 19, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show all about 500.

Any Questions #259

Aug 12, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to keep cool by switching seats.

The Hike

In his second novel, Drew Magary shares some characteristics with the protagonist — they’re both Marylanders by way of Minnesota with a wife and three kids. But in this modern, fantasy take on the Odyssey, none of the rules of our dimension apply. What The Hike shares with his first novel, The Postmortal, is a keen eye for action and a deep understanding of human needs, fears and longing. Magary, a correspondent for GQ and a columnist for Deadspin, has written three other books, but is maybe most proud to be a Chopped champion.

Albany International Airport

Three flights out of Albany International Airport were affected by the global Delta Airlines computer problem, which had grounded all flights. Flights from Albany to Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis had been delayed, affecting about 220 passengers. Airport spokesman Doug Myers spoke with WAMC News around 8:15 a.m. Monday.

Per Albany International Airport:

Delta Air Lines operations at Albany International Airport have resumed.

Delta’s Albany-Detroit flight departed at 8:33 am.

Passengers are now boarding Delta’s Albany-Minneapolis flight.

Any Questions #258

Aug 5, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are hoping to pass with flying colors.

Zika: The Emerging Epidemic book cover
Zika: The Emerging Epidemic

We've all heard plenty about the Zika virus by now, but it's hard to know how worried to be. What are our chances of getting it? Should we postpone travel plans? Donald G. McNeil Jr. is a science writer for the New York Times, and he attempts to answer those questions and more in his new book Zika: The Emerging Epidemic.

Scott Sharrard
Scott Sharrard

The guitar virtuoso Scott Sharrard is spending a good bit of time in our region over the next few weeks, and it’s a chance to hear one of the best working axmen on the road today. The music director for the Gregg Allman band, which he joined in 2008, Sharrard has also toured and recorded with The Chesterfields and as a solo artist. Right now, he’s touring with the Brickyard Band. Sharrard will play the Athens Summer Concert series in Greene County on Friday; the Madison Theater in Albany on Saturday, and the Falcon in Marlboro, NY October 14th. With Gregg Allman, Sharrard is back in Albany August 24 at the Times Union Center and in Hartford a week later.

Any Questions #257

Jul 29, 2016

It's weekly quiz time for the Pickus-Nothnagel clan.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

New York Governor Cuomo had a full schedule Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, aimed at showcasing some of his strengths, including supporting LGBT rights and helping the homeless. But first, he shared the stage with Hillary Clinton’s primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders.

Rachel Martin
Katie Burk/NPR

This week and last on WAMC we’ve been bringing you special coverage of the national political conventions from our partners at PBS and NPR. Rachel Martin has been in the thick of it — on the floor talking to delegates in the midst of stirring convention speeches. Martin is heard each week on these airwaves as host of Weekend Edition Sunday, and she joins us now from Philadelphia. 

Former Mayor George Primeau died at 62.
Dave Lucas

The city of Cohoes in Albany County is pausing to remember its former mayor.

Any Questions #256

Jul 25, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to short-circuit this week's show.