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

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi says he’s “very confident” he will win the city’s first four-year mayoral term in November, even though city clerk Linda Tyer won Tuesday’s preliminary election with 55 percent of the vote. Bianchi, who is seeking a third term, finished second with about 39 percent of the vote to move on to the general election in six weeks. Candidates Donna Walto and Craig Gaetani were eliminated from the mayoral race. Pittsfield will have a four-year mayoral term instead of two years after a recent charter reform.

John Barrett III

Former North Adams Mayor John Barrett, who ran city hall for 25 years before being ousted from office in 2009, continued his comeback bid in Tuesday’s preliminary election. Barrett outpaced incumbent Mayor Richard Alcombright in each of the city’s wards, finishing with 51 percent of the vote. Third-place finisher Eric Rudd was knocked out of the race. Barrett says he wants to debate Alcombright over the coming six-week sprint to election day.

Unlike many of his peers in the arts, actor Wendell Pierce was never afraid of leaving his native New Orleans for a shot at the big leagues. Trained at Juilliard, Pierce went on to star on Broadway and on the screen, best known for roles in Selma, Treme and as homicide detective Bunk Moreland on The Wire, which Pierce calls the role of a lifetime.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A Congressman from our region made national headlines this week by releasing a resolution backed by 10 House colleagues in support of action on climate change. The reason it made headlines: they’re all Republicans. While many in the GOP dispute whether climate change is even happening, Chris Gibson of New York’s 19th district says too-frequent damaging storms in his district are enough evidence that we’ve entered a “new normal.” Gibson, who is retiring from the House after this term and considering a statewide run in 2018, discussed the move with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Any Questions #212

Sep 18, 2015

Pucker up! Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel is back.

Al Roker of NBC’s Today Show brings millions of viewers the weather every morning. Also an author, Roker has now written his first book about the weather — and it’s a sobering tale, even in an age when the consequences of Katrina, Sandy, Irene and Lee are still being felt.

Maura Siobhan

In one of the toughest races on primary day Thursday, Albany County Legislature Chair Shawn Morse defeated Dianne Nolin for mayor of Cohoes. The de facto general election means Morse will succeed outgoing Mayor George Primeau — his uncle. Morse says the Hudson River city of 16,000 people north of Albany faces many challenges, and tells WAMC’s Ian Pickus he isn’t surprised he won the race.

Any Questions #211

Sep 11, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a quiz all about Baghdad by the Bay.

Albany Law School’s 18th president and dean will be inaugurated Thursday.

Any Questions #210

Sep 4, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel prove that they can count to five.

Any Questions #209

Aug 28, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel will be right back.

Any Questions #208

Aug 21, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel dust off their calculators.

Cheating in baseball nowadays usually means performance enhancing drugs or even front office hacking. Back in 1983, however, the sport had one of its strangest and most memorable days when encroaching pine tar nullified a game-winning home run — at least temporarily.

Any Questions #207

Aug 14, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for their campiest show yet.

Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman might have garnered the most headlines this summer, but another American literary great has an unexpected new story out: F. Scott Fitzgerald, who’s been dead almost 75 years.

Ian Pickus

Graham Nash is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who has written some of our most beloved songs in a career that began with The Hollies, reached the top of the music world with CSN and sometimes Y, and continues at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Saturday at 8.

Commuters will have to find new routes around Albany after an oil tanker caught fire Monday. City Hall says the fire is out as of midday, but the fire "in the northbound lane of I-787 just north of I-90 has closed the I-787 northbound and southbound lanes."

The Troy Charter Review Commission is seeking public input tonight.

Any Questions #206

Aug 7, 2015

This week's show is set in stone for WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel.

Meteorologist Garett Argianas delivers the evening weather forecast for Thursday, August 6, 2015.

Comedy Central

Jon's Stewart's celebrated and long tenure as host of The Daily Show is coming to an end tonight. After 16 years, it's his last night on Comedy Central.

The newest installment in a series of Hemingway Library releases, Green Hills Of Africa is out now from Scribner, and it’s the perfect excuse to revisit one Hemingway’s perhaps less famous works.

Ian Pickus

Retired Yankees great Derek Jeter and his family were in the Capital Region on Tuesday. The future Hall of Famer’s Turn 2 Foundation gathered with 100 high school students at Siena College.

Ian Pickus

Retired Yankees great Derek Jeter is returning today to the Capital Region, where he briefly played in the minor leagues.

Any Questions #205

Jul 31, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel look to the skies.

Any Questions #204

Jul 24, 2015

Load up the van for WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel.


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.