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


As Albany gets ready to reconfigure busy Madison Avenue, some city residents will rally Monday for protected bike lanes.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

New details have emerged about the daring prison escape that captivated our region for nearly a month. New York Times reporter William Rashbaum has published a comprehensive look at how convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, leading to a massive 23-day manhunt that ended with Matt shot dead and Sweat wounded and in custody. Rashbaum is a senior writer with the Times.

The deal to rein in Iran’s nuclear program reached last week has been both hailed as an historic agreement and decried as a disaster for U.S. foreign policy. With Secretary of State John Kerry due to travel to the Middle East early next month, the U.S. is working hard to convince allies in the region that the accord is the right move. But there’s also a domestic debate, with many members of Congress promising to pore over the deal before rendering judgment. Already busy trying to shape that debate is the liberal advocacy group J-Street, which supports a two-state solution in Israel as a road to peace. Dylan Williams is Vice President of Government Affairs for J-Street and is a former U.S. Senate staffer.

Any Questions #203

Jul 17, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch sides and take to the seas with their headphones on.

Has there ever been a more complicated person in baseball than Billy Martin? Charming and brilliant, sensitive and prone to anger, Martin rose from a rough neighborhood in the Bay Area to the top of the sports world — but spent his adult life struggling to stay there.

Any Questions #202

Jul 10, 2015

It's all monkey business for WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel.

Any Questions #201

Jul 3, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take stock of their first 200 shows with No. 201.

MLB Network

Jim Kaat is one of the rare athletes to achieve greatness on the field and in his second career in the press box.

Thomas Cole House

New York’s senior U.S. Senator says an important piece of art history has been discovered in Greene County. Charles Schumer asked Wednesday morning for more than half a million dollars in grants to restore the art.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for "not acting with New York City's interests at heart."

This weekend in Chicago, the long strange trip is coming to an end. Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead are gathering for three final shows they’re calling “Fare Thee Well.” The concerts are being held at Soldier Field, where they played their last show with Jerry Garcia 20 years ago. The band played two shows over the weekend in the Bay Area, where it began.

St. Peter's Health Partners

Sunday on Midday Magazine, we heard from a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act — New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat. He welcomed the Supreme Court’s 6 to 3 ruling in the King v. Burwell case unveiled Thursday, which upheld the legality of Obamacare’s federal tax subsidies. Today we hear from a physician and healthcare manager on the ground: Dr. James Reed, CEO of St. Peter’s Health Partners. Reed says he was unsurprised by the ruling, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The nation and its political leaders have been reacting to Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of federal tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the court’s liberal wing in a 6-3 configuration, the second major decision in favor of Obamacare during his tenure. Reaction has largely hued along party lines, with Democrats, including the president, hailing the victory and Republicans continuing to call for repeal, Capital Region Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat, spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus from the House just after the decision went public.

Any Questions #200

Jun 26, 2015
Jake Trott

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark 200 shows with a special guest.

Empire State Pride Agenda

The Empire State Pride Agenda scored a major victory almost exactly four years ago when New York legalized same-sex marriage. This week, the group’s executive director Nathan Schaefer was again celebrating after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus shortly after the ruling came down Friday.

Albany Law School

The Supreme Court’s decision today that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States is a landmark ruling, according to Albany Law School Professor Stephen Clark. The 5-4 decision brings to a close more than 20 years of lawsuits and protests over same-sex marriage. Clark, who was in Washington for the ruling and earlier filed an amicus brief to the court on the issue, spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's ruling on Friday means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court's previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996.


Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has again voted with his liberal colleagues to uphold a key portion of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012. Justice Anthony Kennedy was a dissenter in 2012, but was part of the majority on Thursday. Roberts says in the majority opinion, quote, "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them." Nationally, 10.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health overhaul. That includes the 8.7 million people who are receiving an average subsidy of $272 a month to help pay their insurance premiums. Of those receiving subsidies, 6.4 million people were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

Any Questions #199

Jun 19, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark Juneteenth by switching sides.

Fifty years ago, a motley crew of Bay Area musicians came together from diverse backgrounds — classical music, jugbands, bluegrass — and formed the group that would become The Grateful Dead. From their decades on the road and unique sound to the community that grew around them, they were quite simply one of America’s most influential bands whose imprint is still felt today.

George Bodenheimer saw the company from all angles, from the bottom to the very top, in his 33 years with ESPN, including as its longest tenured president from 1998-2011, a period of exponential growth in sports and for the company itself.

Any Questions #198

Jun 12, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take a spin.

Often when we talk about tough issues in this country — race and slavery, gender inequality, and the like — we deal in absolutes, when acknowledging the gray area would do a world of good.

Any Questions #197

Jun 5, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are entering marshall law.

Any Questions #196

May 29, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are marking a milestone birthday.

Any Questions #195

May 22, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to find their way out of this week's show.

Any Questions #194

May 15, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are taking a tandem ride.

Any Questions #193

May 8, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are very excited for this week's show.

Musician Matthew Houck, who records and performs under the Phosphorescent moniker, has won over fans and critics alike over the past 15 years, during which time he has released seven studio albums. Celebrated for his sonic meticulousness in the studio and on stage, Houck’s music is hard to categorize — he’s been identified as a Dylan-esque singer-songwriter for the 21st century, an indie-country experimenter, and a serious pop composer.

The leader of the New York Senate has surrendered to face charges including extortion and soliciting bribes amid a federal investigation into the awarding of a $12 million contract to a company that hired his son.