And That’s The News | WAMC

And That’s The News

Jul 6, 2020

We at WAMC are living in the same times you are. None of what we are going through with the COVID-19 pandemic or the Trump presidency is easy for any of us. Luckily, we have an incredible staff at WAMC who have made the weight of our task lighter.Take someone like Ian Pickus, our wonderful news director. Ian must balance a large staff spread out in so many directions and integrate the work of the news division with everything else going on at the station.

Election nights are just one example of what goes on in Ian’s world. He gets up early every morning, checks in on the news of the world and the region, and then attends our daily morning meeting at which he tells the rest of us about his plans for the day. When that is finished, he meets with his news staff and hands out assignments there. He relies on the news staff to tell them what they are interested in that day. Then, inevitably, he takes on the difficult role of answering the mail that so many of you send to news@wamc.org.

He is certainly not a clock watcher because despite the fact that he has been at it since the wee hours of the morning, he can still be found at his desk commanding his troops and auditing the news until he can find the time to go home. Another wonderful personage at the station, probably unknown to most of you, is Amber Sickles who is in charge of just so many things including our membership department and our fund drives. Amber is one of those remarkable souls who never loses her cool.

Over the many years that I have been at WAMC, we have had a lot of fund drive coordinators. This is a very demanding job. It’s not telling tales out of school to note that fund drive chiefs tend to move on. That’s not the case with Amber who is cool as a cucumber. Nothing seems to get her. The thing I love about Amber is how she manages it all. During the fund drives when I get to the station very early in the morning, she is there with a whole bunch of ideas about what we should do that day to make sure that the money rolls in. She handles all the challenges that come our way. She sends out regular e-mails to everyone telling you what is going on at a particular moment. When we need some extra help, she gets volunteers. She is, above all, dependable to the extent that I never ever worry about her ability to make it all work.

Of course, you all know Joe Donahue. I just don’t know how he does it all. Every day he has the unenviable task of assembling the panel for the incredibly popular Roundtable program. He has been so successful at finding wonderful folks for the panel that I really don’t think anything on television, including that other Joe (Morning Joe) rivals it. Consider Linda Ellerbee, the award-winning journalist who has become a prominent part of the panel. There’s not enough room to name all of the panelists but I have to note our regulars, Libby Post and Rosemary Armao, who are always up to the challenge. We are incredibly proud of the diversity of the panel. We may argue, but people understand that this is a comfortable place where everyone is welcome. Kind of reminds me of the dining room table at the Chartocks.The most important people at WAMC, of course, are the people who listen and support and keep us going. We know that there are a lot of public radio stations, but we keep hearing from you that there is nothing that compares with WAMC. For that we thank you