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 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.

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.

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.