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

John Perkel has spent more than three decades as an orchestra librarian for the Buffalo Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Perkel has also worked as the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra Librarian during summers before retiring in 2016. Perkel is now serving as music coordinator for the Berkshire Chamber Players. The group will perform its latest concert at The Stockbridge Library on January 19 at 6 p.m.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel kick off 2018 with a golden quiz.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel wrap up another year with the seventh installment of leftover questions.

Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds left, and the Philadelphia Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs with a sloppy 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders last night. The Eagles went to the Super Bowl and lost to New England the last time they had home-field advantage following the 2004 season.

LeBron James will be in action at 3 against Golden State on Christmas.
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The NFC South title is going to go down to the final weekend, but at least the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers now know they are going to the playoffs. The 11-4 Saints will be no worse than a wild-card team after a 23-13 victory over the Falcons Sunday.  Drew Brees threw for 239 yards and joined Peyton Manning and Brett Favre as the only NFL quarterbacks to pass for over 70,000 yards in their career.

A Christmas tree
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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are getting into the Christmas spirit with a holiday-inspired show.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The President and CEO of Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center is reacting to a report by the Associated Press that famed conductor Charles Dutoit is accused of several cases of sexual misconduct. The AP reports the 81-year-old Dutoit is being accused by four different women involved in classical music of sexual assault — including an incident in Saratoga Springs when Dutoit was working with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2006. President Elizabeth Sobol, who joined SPAC in 2016, says the organization is “mortified to hear that this behavior happened on the grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center where, needless to say, it would not have been tolerated then or now.” Sobol went on to praise the “courage” of victims who have come forward. Dutoit is principal conductor of London’s Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Last Jedi
The Last Jedi

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars!

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel express their last name envy on this week's show.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a show about the 12th month.

Lizzie O'Leary took this photo in Toa Baja, near San Juan.
Lizzie O'Leary/Marketplace

It has been almost three months since Puerto Rico was devastated by Irma and Maria. Power and food have been hard to come by — leading many island residents to stay with family in cities like Springfield as the island slowly recovers. Friday at 9 and Sunday at 7 a.m., we’ll air a special edition of Marketplace Weekend. Host Lizzie O’Leary spent a week in Puerto Rico reporting on the aftermath of the storms.

It's Been A Minute

If you followed the election last year on these airwaves — and frankly, we're not sure how you could have missed it — Sam Sanders was a tireless voice from the campaign trail. Now, the NPR host and reporter has launched a new hourlong version of his podcast and show, called It’s Been A Minute.

On this Black Friday, WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel bid farewell to "Movember."


Robbie Robertson’s memoir of the frenetic, fruitful early years of his music career, Testimony, is now out in paperback from Three Rivers Press. It covers in stark detail Robertson’s upbringing on a reservation, his time backing Ronnie Hawkins in the Hawks, and the monumental music he made with Bob Dylan and The Band. And for people in our region who have made the requisite pilgrimage to Big Pink in Saugerties, it’s a treat to read about the impact the Catskills had on The Band and vice versa.

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

Bob Turner
Lucas Willard / WAMC

After 18 months of public hearings, testimony and campaigning, charter change advocates in Saratoga Springs are coming to terms with what appears to be a razor-thin defeat. The periodic vote to change the city’s commission-style form of government to one led by an appointed city manager was too close to call on Election Night. After absentee ballots were tallied Tuesday, “no” had a 10-vote lead with 18 military ballots still out. Skidmore College professor Bob Turner chaired the Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission.

Baseball's over, but WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show about diamonds.

Shawn Colvin
Shawn Colvin

One of the biggest albums of the 1990s is marking its 20th anniversary with a reissue and a tour. Shawn Colvin, who has released more than 10 studio albums, is celebrating "A Few Small Repairs," the smash hit that garnered Grammy awards for the ubiquitous single “Sunny Came Home.” Colvin is performing the entire album on her current tour with a full band, something of a rarity for her. The tour comes to The Egg in Albany on Friday at 7:30.

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

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with an annual show tradition.

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.