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

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are celebrating St. Patrick's Day on the show.

Tickling Giants
Tickling Giants

Many Americans, if they’ve heard of the Egyptian Dr. Bassem Youssef, first learned about him on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show a few years ago. Youssef left his gig as a heart surgeon to launch a comedy show that soon got caught up in the turmoil and authoritarianism of the Middle East during the Arab Spring and its aftermath. That’s the subject of Daily Show senior producer Sara Taksler’s documentary Tickling Giants. The film is screening on Tuesday in cities across the U.S., including at The Spectrum in Albany at 7 p.m., as part of what Taksler is calling “Meet A Muslim at the Movies.”

"Coach Mac" celebrates winning the America East title.
America East Conference

The University at Albany women’s basketball team just won a record sixth-straight America East conference championship. But now, the biggest challenge of all awaits the Great Danes in the NCAA Tournament. UAlbany is heading to Storrs, Connecticut to face UConn in the first round on Saturday at 11 a.m. UConn has won 107 games and four national championships in a row. The woman in charge of figuring out a way to knock the Huskies off is first-year UAlbany coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “Coach Mac” tells WAMC’s Ian Pickus that she was stunned to be matched up with UConn.

Andrew Catalon

For people who wait all year for the NCAA Tournament, which kicks off this week, nothing beats the first four days, when 64 teams are in action across the U.S. It’s a basketball buffet for fans. For broadcasters, it’s a balancing act — and some really long days. Once again working the action for CBS Sports will be Andrew Catalon, who has also called NFL games, college football, golf, the Olympics, and more. Catalon is also familiar to listeners in our area from his television stints in Burlington and Albany.

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The biggest city in the Berkshires is among the municipalities in the Northeast digging out from a blizzard today. Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer tells WAMC's Ian Pickus that city offices closed at noon and a snow emergency, which includes a parking ban except for North Street, is in effect until Wednesday at 7 a.m.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for the show of the century. Maybe.

UMass logo
wikipedia commons

The University of Massachusetts says a national search for a new men’s basketball coach is already under way.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for the first show of March.

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte in WAMC's studio March 3, 2017.
Ian Pickus

I’ve been following the story of the independent film As You Are for many months now, and now that I’ve finally seen the movie, I’m thrilled to have the chance to ask its director and co-screenwriter about it. The film is based in and around the Capital Region, with references to Washington Park and another local radio station. But it’s not merely a fun game of Albany geography. With a backdrop of violence, it’s a serious, sober coming of age story about two emotional teens, their friends and their volatile families.

Leonard Cutler
Siena College

In his first major address since being inaugurated last month, President Trump will speak to a joint session of Congress tonight. The Republican is expected to detail his legislative priorities for the coming year. The speech comes at a time of flux in Washington as the upstart White House shakes up the federal government. Dr. Leonard Cutler, an expert on presidential power and intelligence-gathering, is chair of the political science department at Siena College.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a miraculous show.

Rep. Neal visits the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Friday.
Office of Rep. Neal

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal was part of a delegation that visited the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday. The ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee says he is doubtful about the border wall President Trump has proposed — raising concerns about both the cost and effectiveness of a wall along the 1,900-mile border.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro
NPR/Stephen Foss

If you’re like me, you usually spend your Sundays with coffee and WAMC, waiting for the NPR Puzzle. And there’s been a change in recent weeks on Weekend Edition Sunday: a new host. Lulu Garcia-Navarro was previously stationed in Rio de Janeiro and has also reported from Mexico and the Middle East. She says it's a unique time in journalism history.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are stuck in the middle with each other.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are just two pawns on a quiz show.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with the latest episode of Any Questions?

Albany Times Union columnist Paul Grondahl, a titan of journalism in the Capital Region for more than three decades, will leave the paper Feb. 17 to run the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany, where he earned a master's in English.

Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about initials.

Updated: 6:38 p.m. 1/27/2017

Hudson Valley Congressman John Faso, a Republican from New York’s 19th Congressional district, appeared to contradict recent statements he made on WAMC about his stance on the future of Planned Parenthood funding in a secret recording reported on by the Washington Post on Friday. But in an interview with WAMC later in the evening, Faso said he does not favor defunding Planned Parenthood and prefers the "status quo" when it comes to the organization that provides reproductive health care services.

A UMass survey found 14 percent of Trump supporters say more people are in the bottom photo. Why?
Associated Press

An article in the Washington Post caught our eye the other day. It described a study that looks into how respondents’ political beliefs may influence the way they answered simple questions about one of the persistent political scandals of our era — crowd size at the Trump inauguration. UMass Amherst Professor Brian Schaffner, director of the UMass poll, co-wrote the article. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus about the experiment and its findings.

Albany Devils logo
Albany Devils

The American Hockey League realignment process is continuing — and this time, the victim is Albany, which has seen highs and lows since its downtown arena became home to the River Rats in 1993. The franchise, which was eventually renamed the Devils, has had affiliations with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes. But now, the franchise is slated to relocate to Binghamton, according to a report by Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union, who spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Charles Ross with a lightsaber
Charles Ross

The Star Wars universe has been expanding rapidly in recent years, from 2015’s The Force Awakens, which continued the original series through Episode VII, to 2016’s Rogue One, a standalone prequel. But most fans of the series reserve their fondest memories for the original trilogy — and our guest is still fighting the Battle of Endor. Charlie Ross brings his One Man Star Wars Trilogy back to Proctors in Schenectady on Saturday. It’s a tour-de-Force, so to speak, in a black box setting, with Ross performing everything from Chewbacca to John Williams’ score.

Ian Pickus / WAMC

Women's rights advocates marched to the New York state capitol on Saturday, part of a day of national protests.

The ACLU logo

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for their weekly quiz.

Rep. Richard Neal
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Among the attendees at Friday’s presidential inauguration and the Congressional luncheon afterward was Richard Neal of Massachusetts’ first House district. First elected in 1988, Neal was one of the senior Democrats at the ceremony as Republicans cemented control of Washington. Neal spoke about President Donald Trump’s address late Friday with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Albany's JCC
Albany JCC

Albany Police responded to a bomb threat made against the Jewish Community Center on Whitehall Road this morning. Police say they used three bomb-sniffing dogs to sweep the building. No explosive devices were found, and staff and children were allowed back in. Albany Police spokesman Steve Smith says it’s unclear if the threat, made by a female caller, is connected to other threats against JCCs around the country today.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show about twins.

First Night Saratoga marks the New Year.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for the first show of 2017.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show including leftover questions from throughout 2016.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a quiz about numbers.