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

Aretha Franklin

The music world is mourning the death this week of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin died Thursday at 74 from pancreatic cancer. She is being remembered as a gospel and pop giant and a civil rights beacon. Joining us now is Justin Patch, a post-doctoral fellow in music at Vassar College. A musician himself, Patch specializes in the intersection of music and American politics.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another show. WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another show.

Jockey Julie Krone

When the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs hosts a symposium on women in racing Sunday morning at 10, the first woman ever elected to the Hall of Fame will be there. Legendary jockey Julie Krone is returning to Saratoga to take part in the panel, which also features Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliott, steeplechase jockey Blythe Miller Davies, and trainer Linda Rice, among others.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a sweet 16 show.

WAMC logo

The Morning Edition schedule is changing, slightly, starting August 13 at 5 a.m. WAMC's Morning Edition host David Guistina and news director Ian Pickus preview the changes.

A scene set at the bowling alley from "The Big Lebowski."
"The Big Lebowski"

A much-loved cult classic is back on the big screen this week, 20 years after its release was more or less met with indifference. WAMC’s Ian Pickus has this appreciation.

After 17 years, the men’s basketball rivalry game between the University at Albany and Siena College will not be played this fall. UAlbany and Siena released their non-conference schedules on Thursday — minus the annual matchup against each other. UAlbany and Siena had played every fall since 2001. All but one of those games took place on Siena’s home court, the Times Union Center, which can hold more than 15,000 fans. UAlbany has been pushing to alternate sites. The Great Danes hosted the game in the smaller SEFCU Arena for the only time in 2016.

Don't be blue: WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back.

E-Comm 6 coming down.
WAMC/Ian Pickus

Updated August 3, 2018 7:20 a.m.


One of the busiest streets in downtown Albany was closed Thursday amid fears of a building collapse. 

New Siena coach Jamion Christian with WAMC's Ian Pickus.
Michael Bohen

In some ways, Jamion Christian is having a typical summer: he’s been on the recruiting trail and in the gym getting ready for the start of college basketball season this fall. But Christian also got married — just days after being hired away after six seasons at Mount St. Mary’s to become the 17th head basketball coach at Siena College.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for the last quiz of July.

Kevin Convey

The owner of the New York Daily News has announced layoffs at the newspaper, consisting of about half of the newsroom staff. Kevin Convey, assistant professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University and a former editor-in-chief of the Daily News, spoke with WAMC Monday regarding the layoffs at the behest of the tabloid's owner, Tronc. Tronc has owned the paper since 2017. Convey was editor-in-chief from 2010-2012.

As the city of Albany responds to its bloodiest summer in years, local law enforcement leaders are renewing calls for the community to cooperate in ongoing investigations. Earlier this summer, Mayor Kathy Sheehan and outgoing Police Chief Robert Sears urged residents to dial a local hotline with information as part of the CrimeStoppers program. Now, Albany County District Attorney David Soares is echoing those calls. The Democrat spoke Friday with WAMC’s Ian Pickus about one recent case, the return of the Guardian Angels, and more.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a show about sports venues.

Eric Hawkins
City of Albany

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan says she will appoint Southfield, Michigan Police Chief Eric Hawkins as the new Chief of the Albany Police Department. 

The Albany County Democratic Committee
The Albany County Democratic Committee

The Albany County Democratic Committee headquarters in Albany was riddled with gunfire overnight. The damage from at least five rounds fired through the window was discovered Wednesday morning. The party's headquarters on Colvin Avenue is located in a suite of offices between Central and Washington avenues. Party chairman and Albany Common Councilor Jack Flynn spoke with WAMC News Wednesday.

A film crew working in downtown Albany in 2016.
Ian Pickus

Roads will be closed, cars will be racing through city streets, and there may even be a shootout next week in downtown Albany. But don’t be alarmed — it’s all part of a television shoot by the ABC network. Albany will host a week of filming starting at 6 a.m. Monday until the scheduled wrap time Saturday evening. For more on what to expect, WAMC’s Ian Pickus spoke with Albany Film Commissioner Deb Goedeke.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a "land"-based show.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another crack at one of their stranger categories.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to brave another week.

The transformation of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Trump era is about to enter a new chapter. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is 81, announced that he will retire at the end of the term Wednesday. Kennedy had been a frequent swing vote in the court’s 5-4 decisions in recent years. WAMC’s Ian Pickus spoke with Brad Hays – associate professor of political science at Union College — about Kennedy and the high court. 

Checkpoint Charlie in 1963
Roger Wallstadt on Wikipedia Commons

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are "swapping spots" this week for a show about alliteration.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer
Tom Wall

Five years after his comeback bid for New York City Comptroller fell short, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is making a rare return to electoral politics today. The Democrat, who resigned the governorship in 2008 during a prostitution scandal, has endorsed former cable news host Dylan Ratigan in Tuesday’s primary for New York’s 21st Congressional district seat. Five Democrats — Ratigan, Tedra Cobb, Emily Martz, Patrick Nelson and Katie Wilson — are running in hopes of facing second-term Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik in November. Spitzer discussed his decision to weigh in on the race and other political issues with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

Mike Reiss as drawn by Matt Groening.
The Simpsons

You might remember Mike Reiss from writing such films as "Ice Age," "Kung Fu Panda" and "The President's Neck is Missing." OK, that last one is actually from Reiss’ longest-running gig in the writers’ room on Fox behemoth "The Simpsons," where he was also co-showrunner for the show’s pivotal third and fourth seasons. The Emmy and Peabody winner has been delivering a presentation on the show for many years , and has now released a new book: "Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies From a Lifetime of Writing for 'The Simpsons.'"

A horse
Jim Levulis / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back in the saddle again.

Stephen Stills and Judy Collins
Stephen Stills and Judy Collins

On the afternoon of June 17th, Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts will be the latest stop for two musical legends who only recently — finally — started working together. Last fall, Judy Collins and Stephen Stills, whose fiery relationship in the 1960s led to the classic CSN song "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," came together for a new album, "Everybody Knows."

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve no doubt done years of mental gymnastics — trying to imagine an alternate universe in which Bill Bucker stops a World Series grounder, Butler sinks a buzzer-beater in the NCAA championship game, or Wally Pipp decides to stick it out at first base. Mike Pesca, of the podcast The Gist, is more interested in even bigger alternate realities. A frequently heard voice on WAMC, the longtime NPR sports reporter is out with a new book: "Upon Further Review: The Great What-Ifs In Sports History." In it, he has gathered a murderers' row of sportswriters and other cultural critics to probe at some of the underlying issues that link society and sports.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark the end of the Fund Drive with a show about various misters.

Chocolate espresso cake
The Galley Gourmet

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate a very special day.

The seven Democrats running in hopes of unseating Congressman John Faso of New York’s 19th district are set to debate Thursday at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio.