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

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.

Any Questions? #30

Mar 23, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel somehow waited until the 30th week for their initial show.

Last week's challenge

Start with the phrase THE IDES OF MARCH. Drop one letter, then rearrange the remaining 13 letters to spell a place that baseball players want to get to, and a phrase describing how they might arrive there. What is the place and what is the phrase?

Answer: Baseball players want to get HOME, and they might get there HEAD FIRST.

Alan is joined by Jon Elbaum, Executive Director of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

Any Questions? #24

Feb 9, 2012

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to stay within their element as they tackle the periodic table.

Last week's challenge

Start with the name of Al Pacino's 1999 film THE INSIDER. Rearrange the letters to name two five-letter films in which Pacino does not appear.



Any Questions? #23

Feb 3, 2012

Albany, NY – Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel is on the hot seat once again this week, as WAMC's Ian Pickus makes him an offer he can't refuse: a quiz about Al Pacino.

Last week's challenge

Rearrange the nine letters in the word AMPERSAND to spell the name of something you can take, and what you might have while you're taking one. What are these things?

Answer: You can have DREAMS while taking a NAP.


Albany, NY – WAMC's Alan Chartock is joined by Susie Crofut, a longtime Berkshires artist who works mainly in watercolors.

Any Questions? #22

Jan 27, 2012

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel fill in some blanks.

Last week's challenge
Think of a place associated with the White House (4 letters in the first word, 6 letters in the second). Drop the S from this name, and the remaining nine letters can be rearranged to spell the last names of two people who ran against each other for U.S. president. What is the place and who are the people?

Answer: The place is the ROSE GARDEN, and the people are GORE and NADER.


Any Questions? #21

Jan 20, 2012

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel undertake a presidential quiz to commemorate inauguration day, which usually falls on January 20th.

Last week's challenge

Take the name of a well-known person in the entertainment industry whose last name ends with a Z (7 letters in the first name, 4 letters in the second). Change the Z to an I, then rearrange the result to spell two forms of entertainment. What are they?

New Orleans – Alan is joined by Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller, President and CEO of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Any Questions? #20

Jan 13, 2012

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel welcome a special guest to play this week's show: NPR puzzlemaster and New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz, appropriately the first guest solver in Any Questions? history.

Last week's challenge

Begin with the word RESOLUTION. Add a letter, then rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (3 letters in the first word, 8 letters in the second) that names things someone might want to break free from in the new year. What are these things?

Albany, NY – Host Alan Chartock is joined by Pace English professors Walter Srebnick and Walter Raubicheck, co-authors of Scripting Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie.

Albany, NY – Ian Pickus speaks with Will Hermes about his book, Love Goest to Buildings on Fire.

Albany, NY – Host Alan Chartock speaks about coffee and the community with Nick Seamon from the Black Sheep Deli in Amherst, Massachusetts; Dean Cycon of Dean's Beans; and Leslie Tarr Laurie from Tapestry Health.