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

Chris Cornell

One of rock’s greatest singers, Chris Cornell scaled the music world decades ago with Soundgarden, selling millions of records, packing arenas and helping to define the sound of a generation.

Watervliet Mayor Mike Manning
Watervliet Mayor Mike Manning

The mayor of Watervliet will be sworn in Wednesday for a third term.

Considered one of the greatest harmony singers in rock history, David Crosby is back in the limelight as a solo artist this winter with the release of his first studio album in two decades, Croz, out now from Blue Castle Records, the label he founded with longtime collaborator Graham Nash.

Any Questions #226

Dec 25, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate an annual tradition on the show: clearance.

Jaye McBride
Jaye McBride

Back in August, Albany briefly became one of the comedy capitals of the world for a few days when Aziz Ansari used The Comedy Works as a boot camp before embarking on a national tour. In a matter of days and using two stages in rotation, Ansari performed 13 sold-out sets.

Tony Fletcher
Tony Fletcher

Something in my email caught my eye a couple months ago. Rock writer Tony Fletcher, who lives in the Hudson Valley and has been an occasional guest on this show, was selling off huge chunks of his music collection. Why was the leading authority on Keith Moon and a bunch of other bands hocking a life’s collection of CDs, records, and DVDs?

Any Questions #225

Dec 18, 2015

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

The Strand
The Strand

When we last spoke with Andrew Gulli in April, the managing editor of The Strand magazine had just published a never-before-seen short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, almost 75 years after his death. Now, Gulli and The Strand have done it again with another titan of American literature.

EPIX presents the Road to the NHL Winter Classic.
EPIX

One of the best new traditions in sports is coming up again — the NHL Winter Classic, which marries the magic of the pond hockey with some of sports’ grandest stages. This year, Original Six rivals the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are playing on New Year’s Day at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Any Questions #224

Dec 11, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel rate this week's show NC-17.

WAMC's Midday Magazine broadcast from Dec. 9, 2015.

Any Questions #223

Dec 4, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are out to prove this wasn't all a flash in the pan.

Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum
Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum

Debate is continuing online a day after the Ulster County Sheriff, in a Facebook post, urged qualified residents to carry firearms in response to recent mass shootings.

Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum
Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum

One day after gunmen killed 14 and injured 17 more in Southern California, Ulster County Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum is getting a lot of attention, both supportive and critical, for a Facebook post today urging residents "who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO." Van Blarcum discussed the post and the department's preparations following mass shootings with WAMC's Ian Pickus this afternoon.

Connie Shulman, left, with Laury Sacks.
Looks Like Laury, Sounds Like Laury

Looks Like Laury, Sounds Like Laury is one of the scariest films of the year, but it’s not a horror movie. It’s a loving documentary — a true story of a devastating decline. The subject is Laury Sacks, a lively actor and mother who in her mid-40s started struggling to speak. Her quick deterioration from a form of dementia affects everyone around her: family, caretakers, and a large group of friends who stand by her during the worst.

A lot has changed for our guest Vanessa Carlton since we spoke last in 2011 on the occasion of the release of her album Rabbits on the Run. The singer-songwriter moved to Nashville and married a fellow musician, then became a mother.

Any Questions #222

Nov 27, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel salute this Black Friday show.

Of all the grunge bands to emerge from the fertile Seattle scene about 25 years ago, Alice in Chains stood out for its mix of hard-driving rock and affecting harmonies. Despite Nirvana’s reputation as a groundbreaker, it was Alice in Chains that was the first to go national.

As it often does in music, however, success brought problems: drugs, canceled tours, and tragic deaths. All of this makes for compelling reading in the first proper biography of the band, Alice in Chains: The Untold Story, by David de Sola, who also charts the group’s unexpected resurgence over the past decade.

Tim Kremer
Tim Kremer

As New York state leaders work to fix the much-maligned Common Core education standards, one group with a seat at the table says standardized tests are causing anxiety among students — and now there’s data to back it up. The New York State School Boards Association and the New York Association of School Psychologists released a report Friday showing students, in many cases, internalize test pressure, especially during state tests. Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, discussed the report with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Ron Livingston plays John Carver in a new miniseries about the Pilgrims.
National Geographic Channcel

You might not immediately recognize Ron Livingston in the new miniseries Saints & Strangers, the two-night story of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth that debuts Sunday at 9 on the National Geographic Channel.

The actor known to a generation of fans from movies like Swingers and Office Space and series like Sex and the City and Band of Brothers appears under a matted mane as John Carver, the first governor of Plymouth Colony whose struggles began on the Mayflower and only got worse in the new world.

Any Questions #221

Nov 20, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about classic books they may or may not have read.

Richard Goldstein didn’t set out to be a literary pioneer — as a young man, he simply found himself drawn to Greenwich Village from his Bronx project where a new generation of young people was changing popular culture.

Any Questions #220

Nov 13, 2015

It's all about the Montgomerys on this week's show.

The leader of the New York state Senate, Republican John Flanagan, says he is not sympathetic to school districts who are complaining about a coming freeze on property tax collections in the next school year.

Any Questions #219

Nov 6, 2015

It's a birthday dirge today as resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus switch seats.

Any Questions #218

Oct 30, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return to an annual October tradition: the series.

Alan Barnes

Simon Townshend is highly regarded for his raw and honest songwriting, meticulous playing and distinctive vocals — apparent on his latest album, Denial, released last year. Over the past three-plus decades, Townshend has released seven studio albums, two live albums, and two EPs.

As The Who gears up for the last leg of what the band swears will be its last tour — a claim first made in the 1980s — they’ve been opening shows with their first proper single, “I Can’t Explain,” written more than five decades ago when rock was still seen as a passing fad.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a Democrat from New York's 17th District, spoke with WAMC News Monday about a $10 million federal grant to develop bus rapid transit in the Hudson Valley as part of the construction of the New Tappan Zee Bridge project. She also discussed Paul Ryan's potential as Speaker and Hillary Clinton's campaign now that Vice President Joe Biden is officially not running.

Doby Photography /NPR

Our guest Ari Shapiro has been a frequent voice on WAMC's airwaves as an NPR correspondent for years. He spent four years covering the White House and five as Justice Correspondent; in fact, he was once an intern for NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg. Now, he is on to his next job, and it's his highest-profile gig yet: anchor of All Things Considered, which airs on WAMC weekdays 4-6 p.m.

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