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 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.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with some summer tunes.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show all about 23.

Michael Feinstein
Michael Feinstein

It’s always a pleasure when we get to speak with Michael Feinstein, the versatile and always busy champion of America’s musical legacy. The pianist, singer, conductor, arranger, songwriter and recording artist returns to our region on Sunday, August 6 at 7 p.m. Feinstein will be at the Mahawie in Great Barrington to perform works from the Great American Songbook.

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

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with their latest show.

On Thursday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the corruption conviction of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver – who was facing 12 years in prison after being convicted of taking $4 million in kickbacks. Prosecutors said the powerful Democrat used his powerful post to help a doctor and real estate developers. The court said the judge’s instructions on the theft of honest services law were unclear in light of the 2016 Supreme Court decision on ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, has long been a champion for ethics reform in the state legislature. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus about what the decision means for that effort. 

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel head to Area 51 for this week's show.

Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul movie poster
Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul

The life and legacy of one of music’s peerless voices will be discussed this Saturday at Upstate Films Woodstock, which will screen the new documentary Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul at Upstate Films Woodstock. The 9 p.m. showing will be followed by a conversation with director John Edginton, who has produced and directed several other documentaries, as well as Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang, who managed Cocker for many years. The film is a warts-and-all look at a soulful singer from Sheffield, a showbiz survivor who battled alcoholism for most of his adult life.

Pokey LaFarge
Nate Burrell

Not too many musicians can claim a sound all their own, but in the past decade or so Pokey LaFarge seems to have accomplished just that over hundreds of tour dates and the eight studio albums he has released. The latest album is Manic Revelations, which came out in May. LaFarge and his band will be in our region for several dates this summer.

A photo of the boat that would be Boaty McBoatface.
The Natural Environment Research Council

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

It’s hard to overstate the hours most people around my age spent with R.L. Stine’s books growing up. The author of several series including Goosebumps and Fear Street, Stine has sold more than 300 million copies. Goosebumps is now marking its 25th anniversary. It’s also become a feature film starring Jack Black, with a sequel on the way, a TV series, and led to spinoff book series, including the new SlappyWorld story arc.

Former Congressman Hinchey
Hinchey family

The family of former Hudson Valley Congressman Maurice Hinchey announced today that the Democrat, 78, is suffering from a rare, terminal disorder known as Frontotemporal Degeneration. He was diagnosed after a recent battle with prostate cancer. Hinchey was in Congress from 1992-2012 and the state Assembly from 1975-1992. The disease has limited the once-eloquent Hinchey's language skills and has affected his walking, balance and muscles.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for their trivia fix.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a quiz about literary homes.

Anchored by a core of young, homegrown talents and a camera-ready star, the New York Yankees appear poised for a sustained run at October glory. No, not Derek Jeter’s pinstripers of 20 years ago. Contrary to many preseason predictions, the 2017 Yankees find themselves in the thick of the pennant race thanks to breakout performances from players like Aaron Judge. For the past 16 years, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand has had a front-row view of the action. He also reported for the New York Daily News. His new book is The New York Yankees Fans’ List, which is published by Triumph.

Rep. Paul Tonko
Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th House district, is reacting to the shooting in Virginia Wednesday morning at a Congressional baseball practice in which House GOP Whip Steve Scalise and others were injured. President Trump announced the alleged shooter has died of injuries sustained during the shootout. Rep. Tonko of the Capital Region tells WAMC News that the tone Wednesday between political rivals has turned "conciliatory."

Following the June Fund Drive, WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show all about gratitude.

A scene from Hell on Earth.
Junger/Quested

In his journalism, books and films, Sebastian Junger is often attracted to extremes — as in projects like The Perfect Storm, Tribe, and the Oscar-nominated Restrepo. His haunting new documentary with Nick Quested is called Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS. The movie shows the human stakes of a civil war that has killed 400,000 people and displaced even more. It also explores the complicated political picture that has led to few good options in this volatile region. Hell on Earth airs Sunday on National Geographic Channel.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel get cracking on their next 300 shows.

Trip Gabriel of the New York Times
Trip Gabriel

Longtime New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel covered the presidential election last year. In recent months, he’s been heading to red states to report on the people there and how they feel. The paper recently ran an eye-opening series on long-haul truck drivers. Young and old alike expressed ambivalence about a career that keeps them away from home for long stretches — with a close eye on the clock. Gabriel spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for their 300th show.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take a turn in the moshpit.

Homer at the Bat
The Simpsons

Many former baseball greats will be in Cooperstown over Memorial Day weekend, but the focus is on a different kind of Homer. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is paying tribute to a different kind of Homer on May 27. The Hall will honor the beloved 1992 Simpsons episode “Homer at the Bat” and induct America’s favorite dad into the Hall. The episode was one of the show’s most ambitious. The series was then in its third season, and it got some of the game’s biggest names to guest star.

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