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

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for the "latest piece" of their show.

Susan Page
Susan Page

In the fast-paced political wars of the Trump era, it’s easy to forget the hyperpartisanship that marked the past two administrations. Two veterans of the White House will discuss the current political landscape on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. Former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove and Barack Obama advisor David Axelrod will speak in what the college calls an attempt at “respectful dialogue.” Moderating the discussion is Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief.

Jen Welter
Jen Welter

Despite her 5-foot-2, 130-pound frame, Jen Welter always excelled in athletics, from tennis to rugby to women’s football.  Welter credits her determination for helping her crack one of American’s most stubborn glass ceilings. In 2015, she became the first female coach in the National Football League, working with the Arizona Cardinals’ linebackers in the preseason. But as Welter writes in her new memoir "Play Big," it took years of adversity in life and sports before Welter found herself on the sidelines. Now, she hopes her story can inspire others.

Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus try to hit one out of this world.

One Monument Square
Lucas Willard

The latest plans to redevelop a key section of downtown Troy are dead. Mayor Patrick Madden said in a statement Friday afternoon that the controversial plans for a Bow Tie Cinema movie theater at the site have been scrapped “as a result of multiple and ongoing legal actions brought by a neighboring property owner against the city.” City Hall says fear of future litigation from Judge Development halted the plans for Bonacio Construction to build the 11-screen theater complex. Madden says his administration remains optimistic about bringing Bow Tie to the Collar City in the future.

Crash Pad
Crash Pad

Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Christina Applegate and Thomas Haden Church, the new dark comedy "Crash Pad" focuses on a love triangle, and the extreme lengths people will go to get what they think they want. The movie is screening as part of the Woodstock Film Festival at the Woodstock Playhouse on Oct. 13th at 6:45 p.m. Director Kevin Tent will take part in a Q and A afterward. Tent, an Oscar-nominated film editor, has also had a long working relationship with director Alexander Payne, working on films like "Election," "Sideways," and "The Descendants."

Demetri Martin
Demetri Martin

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

Demetri Martin
Demetri Martin

Writer, actor, comedian, film director and all-around smart guy Demetri Martin is mounting a 40-city stand-up tour this fall. The Conan O’Brien and Daily Show alum recently directed and starred in his first feature film, Dean. He also had a Comedy Central series called Important Things. The standup tour Let’s Get Awkward will bring Martin to The Egg in Albany on October 6 at 8 p.m.

Actor Mackenzie Astin
Mackenzie Astin

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel welcome a special guest to the program: actor Mackenzie Astin.

Let's Play Two
Pearl Jam

Although Pearl Jam has been closely identified with its native Seattle since bursting onto the charts 25 years ago, Chicago has often served as an important stop for the rock group. Lead singer Eddie Vedder is a Windy City native and a massive Cubs fan. And when the band headed to Wrigley Field for a pair of sold-out concerts in August 2016, filmmaker Danny Clinch went along. The longtime music photographer and documentarian shows the band on stage and off in what proved to be a big year for Pearl Jam and a bigger one for the Cubs.

Stephen Stills and Judy Collins
Stephen Stills and Judy Collins

A musical relationship 50 years in the making has yielded an exciting new album and a tour for Stephen Stills and Judy Collins. It’s first time the duo, memorialized in the CSN classic Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, are touring together.The new album, Everybody Knows, takes its name from a Leonard Cohen cover that appears on the record along with other covers, originals, and standouts from each artist’s rich catalogue. Their tour will stop at the Warner Theatre in Torrington, Connecticut on Sept. 30 and The Egg in Albany Oct. 8.

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

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

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes of Nippertown is back for a special appearance to mark Randy Newman's concert Saturday at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall with some favorite cover versions of Newman's songs.

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

The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway cover

Ernest Hemingway is rightly celebrated for his indelible novels, but the 20th century titan was writing short stories from his high school days until almost the end. Many are well known to readers, like the Nick Adams stories and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Others not as much. Like with his most famous novels, Hemingway was an inveterate editor of his short stories, often returning to revise the text after years. Now, you can see that rigorous process play out in the Hemingway Library edition of The Short Stories, published by Scribner. The book features a foreword by Seán Hemingway, the author’s grandson and a curator at The Met.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel kick off their seventh season.

Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge

Continuing a relationship that first started three years ago, Melissa Etheridge will perform again with the Boston Pops this Sunday at 2:30 in the final concert of the summer at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. The Grammy and Oscar winner is a regular presence in our region. She has released 14 studio albums and sold millions of records.

An illustration from a "new" Barrie play in The Strand.
The Strand

From time to time we check in with Andrew Gulli, editor of The Strand Magazine, after he has uncovered a sliver of lost literary history. This time, it’s a play co-written by J.M. Barrie, of Peter Pan fame. The Reconstruction of The Crime: A Sensational Scene is published in the latest issue. It’s a send-up of the mystery genre that fills the rest of the Strand’s pages.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan
Patrick Garrett

The second debate between the Democratic candidates for mayor of Albany is being held now at the Times Union's Hearst Media Center. First-term Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin and Common Councilmember Frank Commisso Jr. are debating tonight. The debate is moderated by the Times Union's Casey Seiler, with questions from Times Union editorial page editor Jay Jochnowitz, WTEN anchor Elisa Streeter and WAMC News director Ian Pickus.

Classic Quadrophenia

Routinely cited as an essential entry among the very best rock albums, The Who's Quadrophenia will sound a little different this weekend at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. Pete Townshend, joined by punk legend Billy Idol and the opera star Alfie Boe, will present Classic Quadrophenia on Saturday night at 8. The Who's principal songwriter since the band's founding in 1964, Townshend tells the story of mods, rockers, alienation and youthful longing in the rock opera released in 1973. At this date, they'll be joined by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. Townshend is performing Classic Quadrophenia at a handful of concerts this summer.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel cap off eclipse week with a show about the moon.

Dr. Keith Strudler
Montclair State University

We’re going to talk now with a familiar voice on WAMC for more than a decade: sports commentator Keith Strudler. Each Wednesday afternoon, Strudler has weighed in on the intersection of sports and society, tackling everything from the NFL’s concussion crisis to the corruption of youth sports. With a PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Florida, Strudler founded the Center for Sports Communication at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. This fall, he’s starting a new job as the Director of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Don’t worry: he’s staying on as WAMC’s sports commentator. But we wanted to catch up about the job and the world of sports in the meantime.

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

The three Democratic candidates for mayor.
Patrick Garrett

WAMC Northeast Public Radio and WNYT News Channel teamed up to host the first debate among Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin and Common Councilor Frank Commisso, Jr. in their Democratic primary campaign for mayor on Thursday at The Linda. The full audio is above. The debate was hosted by Dr. Alan Chartock; panelists included WAMC's Ian Pickus and WNYT's Benita Zahn.

U.S. Capitol Building
Stacy | Flickr

WAMC News has asked the members of Congress within its listening area if they have any response to President Donald Trump’s comments Tuesday in which the Republican doubled down on his original statement Saturday after violence erupted in Charlottesville, VA. The president on Tuesday claimed there were “bad people” in both protest camps, which included neo-Nazis, and used the term “alt-left” in comments that were criticized across the political spectrum. Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush released a statement Wednesday disavowing hate groups.  WAMC is gathering statements from members of Congress here and will publish responses as they are received.

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in 1967's Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde.
Bonnie and Clyde

It has been 50 years since Bonnie and Clyde arrived like a shot in movie theaters. If the last time you thought about Berkshires resident Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic was when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty fumbled the Moonlight Best Picture Oscar announcement, it’s time to give it another look.

Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox, one of only two teams with three perfect games.
Ian Pickus

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats as they take aim at perfection.

Mike Love with Mark McGrath and John Stamos.
Mike Love

There’s no better time than August to welcome back The Beach Boys to our region and Mike Love to our show. Love will sing about surfing, California girls, fast cars and much more on August 15 at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington. The Beach Boys will also play August 16 at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut, August 25 at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, November 14 at Proctors in Schenectady, and March 18 at UPAC in Kingston.

New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, a fiery Democrat who has represented Manhattan and Brooklyn since 2009, is leaving the Senate. Squadron says his resignation will be effective Friday, setting up a special election to fill the 26th district seat in November. Though he didn’t cite specifics, Squadron says he will work to make progressive change nationwide following the election of President Donald Trump in November. Squadron cited frustrations with Albany in his announcement, including the “three-men-in-a-room” process for major legislation and lax campaign finance rules.