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.

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Massachusetts officials plan to release details of insurance claims connected to tornado destruction in the state's western and central parts last June. WAMC's Ian Pickus has more...

The National Weather Service says four tornadoes touched down during the June 1, 2011 storm, killing three people and damaging or destroying about 1,400 houses and 78 businesses.

State officials will join Springfield's mayor at 10 a.m. Tuesday at a damaged home in that city to review how insurance carriers and the state responded to the storm.

Morning sports update

May 22, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus reports on the night's sports action.

THE LAKERS ARE OUT AND THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER IS MOVING ON….THE THUNDER SURGED PAST THE LAKERS 106-90 IN THE PLAYOFFS LAST NIGHT, GETTING 28 POINTS FROM RUSSELL WESTBROOK THE WIN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIS FOUR GAMES TO ONE. KOBE BRYANT HAD 42 POINTS IN THE LOSS…OKLAHOMA CITY ADVANCES TO FACE TOP-SEEDED SAN ANTONIO IN THE CONFERENCE FINALS.

As the Miami Heat flirt with danger in the NBA playoffs, WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with Esquire writer-at-large Scott Raab, a Cleveland native whose broken heart and anger became the subjects of his book The Whore of Akron: One Man's Search for the Soul of LeBron James.

Any Questions? #38

May 18, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a quiz about accomplished elders.

Last week's challenge

Take the five-letter name of a famous computer. If you read it backwards, you'll get the last name of a famous actor. What is the computer and who is the actor?

ANSWER: The famous computer is ENIAC, and the actor is Michael CAINE.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: OLD AGE AND SUCCESSFUL ELDERS

Opponents of natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing are planning a big day of action in Albany, culminating with a star-studded concert at the Empire State Plaza.  WAMC's Ian Pickus reports...

New Yorkers Against Fracking, a new coalition of organizations calling for a fracking ban, plans a rally and multi-media concert Tuesday afternoon and evening. The event features actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo acting as hosts of the concert at the Egg Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $40 to $150.

Any Questions? #37

May 11, 2012

How meta is this? You've logged on to our website to hear a quiz about famous computers. Also: a wormhole just opened up.

Last week's challenge
Think of a seven-letter word for an area often seen adjacent to a racetrack. Change the middle letter to an L, and the result will name something often used to keep an area secure. What is the area and what is the thing?
Answer: The area is a PADDOCK, and the thing is a PADLOCK.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Glenn Frey about his return to solo material, how he chose the standards to cover on his new album After Hours, and the meaning of the 40th anniversary of The Eagles.

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.

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