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

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.

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.

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.