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

Any Questions #372: N-L-C-S

57 minutes ago
NLCS logo

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a baseball-themed show, kind of.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel say "yes" to a show about Dr. No.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Jesse King / WAMC

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican challenger Chele Farley are set to debate at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs ahead of November’s midterm elections. The debate, which both campaigns agreed to last month, is set for October 21 at 7 p.m. at the college’s Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall. 

Any Questions #370: Keys

Sep 28, 2018

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back to unlock a show about keys.

Reps. Gibson and Tonko at Plug Power , Latham NY (February 2016)
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Many Republicans were hoping Chris Gibson would be running an election this fall. Instead, the former three-term New York Congressman from the 19th House district is teaching at Williams College in northern Berkshire County — as his successor, Rep. John Faso, tries to hold on to the seat. Gibson, who had explored a statewide run, is also working on the campaign of gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive. Gibson spoke today with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show about people with last names starting with "O."

George Karl coaching the Albany Patroons.
Steve Twardzik Photography

George Karl is one of the winningest coaches in NBA history — one of just nine with 1,000 victories. But before his successful runs with the Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets, to name a few, Karl spent two seasons helming the Albany Patroons, in 1988-89 and 1990-91. As demonstrated in a new documentary premiering this weekend, the Patroons of that era were a major CBA draw at the Washington Avenue Armory, serving as a springboard for many successful NBA players and coaches.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes from Nippertown is back with his September music choices. He speaks with WAMC's Ian Pickus.

Paul Simon concert poster
Paul Simon

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a quiz that has them both feelin' groovy.

Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With the pivotal primary a year away, Cohoes City Councilman Randy Koniowka says he plans to run for mayor in 2019. The Ward 6 Democrat has been critical of Mayor Shawn Morse, who’s held the corner office since 2016. In an interview with WAMC News Thursday, Koniowka says Morse – who has faced abuse allegations – should not hold elected office. The councilman also bashed his fellow Democrat’s administration. Morse has denied the allegations and rejected calls to resign from fellow Democrats including Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and state Assemblywoman Pat Fahy. Morse also spoke with WAMC Thursday.

Wayne Kramer's memoir
Da Capo

There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows in Wayne Kramer’s life — and he spends time on both in his raw new autobiography: The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5 & My Life Of Impossibilities. The founder of the short-lived but influential rock group the MC5 is one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists. He has released several solo albums and worked on scores for films and TV.

Long before American politics and entertainment merged in the form of the Trump White House, Mark Leibovich chronicled the uneasy relationship between elected officials, media figures and lobbyists in This Town. Now, he is back with a new book about America’s other leading religion: football. Leibovich, a Patriots fan, had uncommon access to the league’s owners, commissioner and players over the past few seasons, as the NFL confronted concussions, social protest, and team relocation. His new book is Big Game: The NFL In Dangerous times.

An 8 ball

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with the first show of the eighth season.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a "before and after" quiz.


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


The 149th annual running of the Travers Stakes takes place on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. WAMC Morning Edition host David Guistina and WAMC News Director Ian Pickus talk about the track's most popular day and the controversy surrounding the treatment of horses at the historic race course.

Aretha Franklin

The music world is mourning the death this week of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin died Thursday at 76 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.