Ian Pickus | WAMC

Ian Pickus

News Director

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.

Ways to Connect

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are either over- or underprepared.

Ron Blomberg's new book is a memoir of his time playing with Thurman Munson
Triumph Books

Yankees great Thurman Munson was one of the best catchers in the game when he died in a stunning plane crash at age 32 in 1979. One of Munson’s closest friends and teammates was Ron Blomberg, from their time in spring training, the clubhouse and their adventures off the field.

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik speaks at a Save the Annex rally in Dannemora
Pat Bradley/WAMC

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has set a vote today to remove Congresswoman Liz Cheney from her leadership post and make New York’s Elise Stefanik the No. 3 Republican. McCarthy says he and his fellow Republicans “need to make a change.” McCarthy did not mention Cheney or former President Donald Trump by name. But the move comes after Cheney repeatedly challenged Trump’s false assertions pinning his November reelection defeat on widespread voting fraud and criticized Trump's role in encouraging supporters’ January 6th attack on the Capitol. Stefanik, of the 21st district, is in her fourth term and has become a vociferous Trump ally after refusing to say his name in 2016.

Lupine in bloom in the Albany Pine Bush
WAMC/Sarah LaDuke

An annual milestone at the Albany Pine Push Preserve is set for Saturday. Lupine Fest — a hybrid of in-person and virtual events this year due to the pandemic — runs through June 5. The springtime ritual aligns with the blooming of stunning lupine flowers, the food source for the preserve’s endangered Karner Blue Butterfly.

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

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik leads roundtable discussion at Mold-Rite Plastics
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Former President Donald Trump is backing New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to replace Congresswoman Liz Cheney as the Republican Party's third-ranking leader in the House.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots to get a second shot.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins with Mayor Kathy Sheehan at police HQ.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A month after presenting its Policing Reform and Reinvention Plan to the state, Albany is looking to convene a new series of community meetings at a tense time in the city. Mayor Kathy Sheehan, a Democrat running for a third term, tells WAMC the city will release an RFP next week for an outside group to facilitate the conversations.

Dottie Pepper's "Letters To A Future Champion"
Dottie Pepper

Dottie Pepper is one of the greatest athletes ever to come out of Saratoga Springs. How she got there, and the advice that has guided her for decades, is the subject of a new book about the power of mentorship.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Pat Bradley / WAMC

Wednesday at 9 p.m., WAMC will carry special coverage of President Joe Biden’s first speech to a joint session of Congress. It comes as Democrats who maintain slim control of Congress look to their next big priority, infrastructure, following the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan. New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gives Biden an “A+” for his first 100 days, but says she still has several priorities to tackle this term. 

Sen. Schumer and GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield
Jesse King

Saratoga County got some big economic news Monday when semiconductor giant GlobalFoundries announced it will move its headquarters from Silicon Valley to its Malta, New York campus. The move is being hailed by local officials who say it could lead to economic growth and related industries making the Capital Region home.

Sen. Schumer and GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield
Jesse King

The chair of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors is cheering news that semiconductor manufacturing giant GlobalFoundries will move its headquarters from California to Malta, New York. The company’s CEO made the announcement Monday alongside U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, a Democrat who says the federal government plans to boost investment in the industry by up to $50 billion.

New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell
New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell / New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell

There are just about six weeks left before New York state lawmakers wrap up the legislative session in Albany. It comes after majority Democrats checked off a laundry list of priorities in the state budget passed earlier this month. Manhattan Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, from the 69th district, says there’s plenty left to do.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the first virtual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

South Station in Albany
Lucas Willard

With fencing in place around Albany police stations and protestors camped outside South Station for a sixth day, Mayor Kathy Sheehan would not say Thursday how long the demonstrators will be allowed to remain.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is pushing back against claims from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s spokesperson that a recent referral to the state attorney general is politically-motivated piling on.

NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

The leader of the New York State Senate gave an overview of the remaining weeks of the legislative session Tuesday.  

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has so far been able to ride out the storm, resisting calls to resign amid multiple investigations into his handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, sexual harassment allegations, and potential wrongdoing in the production of his pandemic memoir last year.

Outside the U.S. Supreme Court
WAMC/Ian Pickus

Democrats last week introduced legislation to expand the Supreme Court from 9 seats to 13. The move comes after President Donald Trump appointed three conservative justices while in office, one of whom was confirmed days before the 2020 election.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

There are mixed results for embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the latest poll from the Siena College Research Institute.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take a turn at trivia's most famous lectern.

Tim Mead

The President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown is resigning after less than two years on the job. In a statement Friday, Tim Mead cited family responsibilities in announcing he’ll step down in May.

Mead was named president in 2019 after a 40-year career working for the Los Angeles Angels. He spoke with WAMC just before joining the Hall.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Price Harry
S Pakhrin from DC, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons / https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Trooping_the_Colour_2006_-_P1110354_%28169182695%29.jpg

A scaled-down funeral is set for Saturday for Britain’s Prince Philip, who died last week at age 99. Queen Elizabeth’s husband lived through a tumultuous century including World War II and the decline of the British Empire. Philip’s death also comes at an unsettled time for the monarchy itself — with Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson, returning home for the first time since leaving the royal family in a highly public and messy split.

Dave Parker's new memoir "Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood."
Dave Parker's new memoir "Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood."

Dave Parker spent 19 years in the major leagues, racking up three Gold Gloves, more than 2,700 hits, two batting titles, seven All-Star games, two World Series rings and the 1978 MVP Award.

Paul Raci in "The Sound of Metal"
Amazon/ "The Sound of Metal"

Over the past several decades, Paul Raci grew frustrated with his screen career. He was convinced he had more to offer as an actor than the bit parts and one-off roles that make up his IMDB credits. So Raci largely channeled those creative efforts into stage productions at the Deaf West Theater and his heavy metal bands. Now, the rest of us are getting to know Raci and his work.

The Rivers Sportsbook opened with 14 kiosks.
WAMC/Jesse King

The $212 billion New York state budget passed in recent days includes the legalization of mobile sports betting. Governor Andrew Cuomo says it could generate up to $500 million in tax revenue a year. Part of that is winning back mobile sports betting business from neighboring New Jersey. The Gaming Commission is expected to issue sports betting licenses this year. David Schwartz of The University of Nevada Las Vegas studies gambling and casinos, and he previously served as Director of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about another public media titan.

Ernie Tetrault, courtesy of WRGB
Ernie Tetrault, courtesy of WRGB

A titan of Capital Region broadcasting has died. WRGB says Ernie Tetrault died at age 94 after an illness.

Lee Zeldin
Fox News


Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin says he will run for governor in 2022. The Republican, who has been a fierce critic of third-term Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, made the announcement on Fox News this morning.

Ron Kim
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The race for Saratoga Springs mayor is taking shape. Former Democratic Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim is set to kick off his campaign for mayor Wednesday morning in High Rock Park. The lawyer also ran for Congress in the 21st district in the 2018 campaign.