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

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to propose creating a new agency to oversee care of the disabled.

The New York Times reports that Cuomo will announce the proposal this week in response to the state’s history of overlooking abuse of the disabled living in publicly financed housing, a group numbering nearly one million.

The paper says the new law enforcement and oversight agency will monitor the care of several types of at-risk patients. It would also be granted subpoena power.

WAMC

The president will visit New York’s Capital Region on Tuesday, but his destination has shifted. WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports…

President Obama had been slated to visit the $4.6 billion GolbalFoundries chip plant in Malta when word of his stop first trickled out last week, but the Commander-in-Chief will now head to the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering instead.

WAMC

President Barack Obama is slated to visit Saratoga County next week to speak on jobs and emerging technology.

The president will visit the Global Foundries chip plant in Malta, his third visit to the Capital Region since taking office. He is expected to draw attention to ways in which the government and private companies can work together to spur new high-tech industries.

President Obama has previously visited General Electric in Schenectady and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

Any Questions? #36

May 4, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have mixed some mint juleps and studied the lyrics of "My Old Kentucky Home" in anticipation of this week's show, an ode to the Kentucky Derby and horse racing.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name "Babe Ruth." Change one letter to an "s", then rearrange the result to spell a thing and a person, both of which you might see at a ballpark. What are they?
Answer: The thing is a BAT and the person is an USHER.

The New York Racing Association has placed its top executive on unpaid administrative leave pending a state investigation into $8.5 million in winnings that weren't paid out to bettors on horse races.  WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports…

The state Racing and Wagering Board's interim report on the unpaid winnings was released Monday and was highly critical of NYRA's top management.

Occupy Albany is back, this time with a specific platform to change New York government and politics.  WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports…

The group credited in part with pushing Governor Andrew Cuomo to accept a higher tax on millionaires plans opening ceremonies from noon to midnight Tuesday across from the Capitol, coinciding with international May Day protests.

The park is within shouting distance of the Democratic governor dubbed "Governor 1 Percent" because of some of his policies and because his biggest campaign contributors are top corporate executives.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with journalist Blaine Harden about the thrilling life of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in a North Korean concentration camp to escape to tell his story. Harden is the author of Escape from Camp 14:  One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West.

Any Questions? #35

Apr 27, 2012

Last week's challenge
Think of an 11-letter adjective beginning with U that describes a person who isn't getting all that he or she needs. Drop the first R from this word, and you'll get another adjective that describes something given to a person who shouldn't be getting it. What are these adjectives?
Answer: The adjectives are UNDERSERVED and UNDESERVED.

Any Questions? #34

Apr 20, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark a special anniversary with a show about Boston.

Last week's challenge
Think of two words that are each used to mark the first space on a game board. Add an E, then rearrange the letters to spell the eight-letter name of a popular board game. What are the words, and what is the game?
Answer: The words are START and GO, and if you follow the directions, you can spell STRATEGO.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with rock journalist Stephen Davis, who co-authored Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Levon Helm's memoir This Wheel's On Fire. Helm, a member of The Band and a respected solo artist, died this week, succumbing to cancer at 71.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with former Melody Maker journalist Brixton Key, who went on to manage Chris Isaak and survive two brain aneurysms before penning his debut novel, Charlie Six.

Any Questions? #33

Apr 13, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel roll the dice and pass go en route to a show about board games.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase SEDER PLATE. Rearrange these ten letters to spell two things you can do to a bicycle. What are they?
Answer: You can PEDAL and STEER a bicycle.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with maritime historian Daniel Allen Butler, a Titanic expert whose seminal recounting of the doomed voyage, Unsinkable: The Full Story of the RMS Titanic, is now out in a new edition.

Music: Salut d'Amour - Ian Whitcomb conducting The White Star Orchestra on the album, Titanic: Music As Heard On The Fateful Voyage

Kent Hartman is a music industry entrepreneur who has worked with dozens of well-known artists, including Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, Hall & Oates, Counting Crows, and Lyle Lovett. We speak with him about his book, The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with Dr. Jeffrey Berman, a distinguished teaching professor of English at the University at Albany and the author of Death Education in the Writing Classroom.

 

 

Another powerful Capital Region lawmaker is stepping down. WAMC’s Ian Pickus has more…

Citing sources, the Times-Union reports that New York State Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari will announce today that he is not seeking reelection.

The 68-year-old Democrat has planned a press conference for 11 a.m. The former Cohoes mayor joined the Assembly in 1989 and rose to Majority Leader five years ago, becoming the highest-ranking upstate legislator.

Any Questions? #32

Apr 6, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel slave through a pyramid of questions to celebrate Passover.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase QUESTION JAR. Rearrange these eleven letters to spell a word that follows the word "hip" in a familiar two-word phrase, and another word that means, in a way, the opposite of "hip." What are the words?
Answer: The words are JOINT and SQUARE.

We welcome Piers Paul Read (Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors) to the show and speak with him about The Dreyfus Affair: The Scandal That Tore France in Two.

We speaks with James Dodson about his book American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and the Modern Age of Golf.

WAMC's Ian Pickus gets the morning headlines from Judy Patrick, managing editor of the Daily Gazette.

Host Alan Chartock is joined by Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party. They discuss the budget, redistricting, and campaign finance reform.

RJ Smieth has written a new biography of James Brown entitled The One: The Life and Music of James Brown.

Any Questions? #31

Mar 30, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel say yes and also yes to having acclaimed musician Mike Doughty stop by the studio to play.

Last week's challenge

Take the name of an author commonly known by his first and middle initials. Drop the "e" from his name, then rearrange the result to name a type of character that frequently appears in his books. Who is the author and what is the type of character?

Answer: The author is A.A. MILNE, and the type of character is an ANIMAL.

Alan is joined by Richard Kirsch, a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and the author of Fighting For Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States.

Joan Osborne

Mar 28, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with popular singer and songwriter Joan Osborne, who has released a new album of soul and blues covers called Bring It On Home and appears at The Egg in Albany on April 1.

More than one million children are estimated to have been killed in the Holocaust, with only a tiny number surviving the pogroms and death camps that decimated Europe's Jewish population during Hitler's expansion.

One survivor, along with his twin sister, somehow beat the odds. Steven Hess tells his story publicly tonight in Albany. He spoke with WAMC's Alan Chartock.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Mike Spain, associate editor of the Times-Union.

Host Alan Chartock is joined by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. They discuss the budget, Tier VI retirement discussions, redistricting, and ethics in the Comptroller's office.

Pages