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

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.

Any Questions #217

Oct 23, 2015

Listen up! Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel is back.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Tuesday toured a high-tech company in Troy. Apprenda, a software firm whose headquarters are on River Street, has received $1.2 million in investments from the New York State Pension Fund’s in-state private equity investment program. DiNapoli, a Democrat, oversees the state pension fund. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus about the tour and a push this week for more infrastructure spending.

Any Questions #216

Oct 16, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are blushing red this week.

The Cooking Channel

For many people around my age, Tia Mowry was familiar and welcome figure growing up; her sitcom with her twin Tamera, Sister Sister, was a sensation when it debuted in 1994. Mowry’s quick wit and winning performance endeared her to more than one generation of fans.


As has been long expected, New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez, a Republican from Schoharie, is the latest candidate to join the field to replace retiring Congressman Chris Gibson. Lopez, who represents the 102nd district, has been in the Assembly since 2007. Lopez once worked as a staffer for former gubernatorial candidate John Faso, who is also seeking the 19th district seat. Lopez discussed his potential candidacy with WAMC.

Any Questions #215

Oct 9, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have a case of the Thursdays.

Any Questions #214

Oct 2, 2015

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

Even if you’re a sports fan, it’s been hard to keep track of all the steroid scandals in sports in recent years. From Alex Rodriguez to countless Olympians, the headlines and teary apologies — and the subsequent morality play over the meaning of tainted records — can be overwhelming.

Any Questions #213

Sep 25, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel learn what supervocalics are.

One of baseball’s greatest players— and a man beloved by non-sports fans as well — has died. Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who won 10 World Series as a player and three more as a coach, in addition to three Most Valuable Player awards, was 90. Later in life, Berra was just as famous for his aphorisms as those on-field accomplishments. The Yankee legend was the subject of a 2012 book by sportswriter Harvey Araton called Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest Gift.  As Araton told WAMC’s Ian Pickus, Berra stayed involved with the Yankees as long as possible.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

City clerk Linda Tyer finished first in Tuesday’s preliminary election for mayor of Pittsfield, defeating incumbent Mayor Dan Bianchi and two other challengers. Tyer, who carried 55 percent of the vote to Bianchi’s 39, is hoping to unseat Bianchi in November’s general election. Bianchi brushed off the results as a consequence of low voter turnout, but Tyer says she’s confident she will win the race for Pittsfield’s first four-year mayoral term after recent charter reform. Candidates Donna Walto and Craig Gaetani were eliminated from the race.

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.