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

Environmental activist Aaron Mair looks on as Albany County Legislature Chair Andrew Joyce addresses the crowd outside the Capital Center.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

When the COVID emergency began in March of 2020, local governments had to quickly adapt. Public meetings across the Northeast migrated to Zoom as states made emergency allowances to open meetings laws. Now that public life is reopening, should some of those changes be allowed to remain in place?

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to medal in honor of the 2021 edition of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Bridie Farrell

A prominent athlete and crime victim advocate from Saratoga Springs says she will run for Congress in New York’s 21st district next year. Bridie Farrell announced her campaign in an online video Wednesday.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The Albany Common Council has passed a series of local fair housing laws introduced by Mayor Kathy Sheehan in March.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel head back to "camp."

"The Bronx Zoom"
Bryan Hoch

Most of us are trying to forget 2020. The pandemic sickened millions and upended everyday life, disrupting the rhythms many of us didn’t realize we were so dependent on. For many, that includes the sounds of a nightly baseball game.

Beacon Hill
Ian Pickus

The controversial head of the Massachusetts Republican Party is facing new headwinds. The Boston Globe reports several major donors are threatening to cut ties if Chairman Jim Lyons is not replaced, in a letter obtained by the newspaper.

The Daily Gazette
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Two years after taking over the Amsterdam Recorder, The Daily Gazette says it is acquiring another smaller newspaper in the region: The Gloversville Leader-Herald — one of the nation’s last afternoon publications.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel decide to live free or die.

Tammis Groft
Albany Institute Of History And Art

The Albany Institute of History and Art says Executive Director Tammis Groft will retire. In the position since 2013, Groft began at the downtown museum as an intern in 1976. Groft, who became chief curator in 1987 and deputy director in 2000, will remain through the transition to a successor. Groft called being executive director “the job of a lifetime.” The museum’s Board of Trustees will launch a national search for a new director.

The aftermath of storm damage in Coxsackie, New York
Mark Evans

Utility companies are working right now to restore power to thousands of users in the Northeast after damaging storms on Wednesday. The village of Coxsackie, New York in Greene County remains under a state of emergency, with many downed tree limbs and power lines. In a social media update, Mayor Mark Evans called it an “unprecedented event.” He spoke with WAMC News Thursday morning.

MA State Rep. Geoff Diehl

A Republican has kicked off a campaign for governor of Massachusetts in 2022, but probably not the one you’re thinking of. Former state representative and 2018 U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl co-chaired President Trump’s 2016 Bay State campaign. So far, Governor Charlie Baker hasn’t said whether he will seek a third term. Diehl joins a field that includes three Democrats — Harvard professor Danielle Allen, former state Senator and Pittsfield native Ben Downing, and State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz.   

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch uploaded a video to Twitter as a mob entered the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6.
Vermont Congressman Peter Welch uploaded a video to Twitter as a mob entered the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6.

The House is launching a new investigation of the January 6th Capitol siege. 

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel get ready for the 4th.

Lee Zeldin
Fox News

Republican Party officials gathered in Albany for a second time Monday to screen candidates for 2022’s race for governor. Lee Zeldin is now being called the presumptive nominee.

Josh Rawitch
Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Longtime West Coast baseball front office figure Josh Rawitch has been named the new President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

Rep. Welch and Sen. Leahy, left and right
WAMC/Pat Bradley

It may be several months before Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy decides whether to seek a ninth term next year. And as WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports, the state’s political class is holding its breath.

Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in the winter of 2021
Ian Pickus

Cooperstown, New York is gearing up for a more typical summer tourism season now that COVID-19 is on the wane and cultural attractions are reopening. That includes an in-person Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in September, and the summer opera season at Glimmerglass. It also comes as the region prepares for federal COVID relief funding. Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, who has been in office since 2018, spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel forge some common ground.

"Glory Days" by Jon Wertheim
"Glory Days" by Jon Wertheim

Jon Wertheim has made a career out of looking for a good sports story, but when he recalled the summer of 1984, he found several crammed into one summer. Wertheim’s new book is “Glory Days: The Summer of 1984 and the 90 Days That Changed Sports and Culture Forever.”

Michael Kay and Chris Russo on "CenterStage"
YES Network

The longtime voice of the New York Yankees on the YES Network, Michael Kay has also been sitting down with some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment and politics as the host of “CenterStage” for the past two decades. Some of his favorite moments from the show, on camera and off, are collected in the new book “CenterStage: My Most Fascinating Interviews — From A-Rod to Jay-Z.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
Dave Lucas / WAMC

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan has taken a big step in her bid for a third four-year term. The Democrat on Tuesday turned back a primary challenge against Valerie Faust and now advances to November’s general election. Unofficial results from the Albany County Board of Elections show Sheehan with about 61 percent of the vote to Faust’s 35 percent. Sheehan spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus Wednesday morning.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel welcome Broadway fanatic and friend of the program Sarah LaDuke to the stage.

Amy Helm
Ebru Yildiz/Amy Helm

Musician Amy Helm returned to a familiar place — for her and for many of us in the region — to make her new album “What the Flood Leaves Behind.” Helm recorded in Levon Helm Studios, also known as The Barn, with a cast of stellar musicians.

Sen. James Skoufis
WAMC/Allison Dunne

The state legislative session in Albany is now behind us, as lawmakers grappled with a second pandemic-focused year. Early fears of a multi-billion budget gap were eventually eased by federal COVID relief, majority Democrats pressed new criminal justice reforms, and the status of embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo loomed large.

Brett Dennen
Brett Dennen

Musician Brett Dennen has a message for the summer: “See the World.” That’s the new of his new album and single, and at least to these ears, it comes at a fortuitous time. Outside of music, Dennen is known for his climate activism, artwork, and love of the outdoors. This summer, he’ll perform in our listening area on July 24 at City Winery Hudson Valley in Montgomery, in Orange County, and July 25 at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel close the blinds to binge some TV.

Matt Putorti
Facebook: Matt Putorti

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik faces new competition for her seat in the 21st District. Democrat Matt Putorti, a lawyer from Whitehall, announced his candidacy for the 2022 midterms in a video on Twitter Monday morning.

The New York State Capitol
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

With a politically wounded governor and state government still working around the COVID emergency, this week marks the end of one of the stranger New York state legislative sessions in memory. It started on fears of a billion dollar shortfall, which were soon alleviated thanks to federal coronavirus relief. But what does three people in a room, the typical model in Albany, look like when two have called on the third to resign?

Trudi Jacobson
University at Albany

A new study from the University of Utah finds up to three-quarters of us overestimate our ability to spot fake news stories — and the worse we are, the more likely we are to share misinformation.