Renee Montagne

Renee Montagne is co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the U.S. She has hosted the newsmagazine since 2004, broadcasting from NPR West in Culver City, California, with co-host Steve Inskeep in NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Montagne is a familiar voice on NPR, having reported and hosted since the mid-1980s. She hosted All Things Considered with Robert Siegel for two years in the late 1980s, and previously worked for NPR's Science, National and Foreign desks.

Montagne traveled to Greenwich, England, in May 2007 to kick off the yearlong series, "Climate Connections," in which NPR partnered with National Geographic to chronicle how people are changing the Earth's climate and how the climate is impacting people. From the prime meridian, she laid out the journey that would take listeners to Africa, New Orleans and the Antarctic.

Since 9/11, Montagne has gone to Afghanistan nine times, travelling throughout the country to speak to Afghans about their lives. She's interviewed farmers and mullahs, poll workers and President Karzai, infamous warlords turned politicians and women fighting for their rights. She has produced several series, beginning in 2002 with 'Recreating Afghanistan" and most recently, in 2013, asking a new generation of Afghans — born into the long war set off by the Soviet invasion — how they see their country's future.

In the spring of 2005, Montagne took Morning Edition to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul ll. She co-anchored from Vatican City during a historic week when millions of pilgrims and virtually every world leader descended on the Vatican.

In 1990, Montagne traveled to South Africa to cover Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and continued to report from South Africa for three years. In 1994, she and a team of NPR reporters won a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of South Africa's historic presidential and parliamentary elections.

Through most of the 1980s, Montagne was based in New York, working as an independent producer and reporter for both NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter/editor for Pacific News Service in San Francisco. She began her career as news director of the city's community radio station, KPOO, while still at university.

In addition to the duPont Columbia Award, Montagne has been honored by the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of Afghanistan, and by the National Association of Black Journalists for a series on Black musicians going to war in the 20th century.

Montagne graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as a Phi Beta Kappa. Her career includes serving as a fellow at the University of Southern California with the National Arts Journalism Program, and teaching broadcast writing at New York University's Graduate Department of Journalism.

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Middle East
4:51 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Syrian Opposition Groups Try To Reinvigorate Mission

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Opposition groups working to bring down the regime in Syria are meeting in Doha, Qatar in a furious bid to reorganize and reinvigorate themselves. The aim is to form a legitimate government in exile that would be recognized by the international community. This new effort to bring together the Syrian opposition is strongly backed by the U.S. NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Doha and joins us to talk about it.

And let's start by you telling us exactly who is there.

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Election 2012
6:46 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Sandy Likely To Affect New York Voter Turnout

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The triumph in some parts of the country this morning is that people are able to vote at all. Just over a week after Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore, people are voting today in New Jersey.

And in New York City, NPR's Robert Smith is in the Borough of Queens, part of New York City. He's on the line. Robert, what have you seen today?

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Election 2012
4:14 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Disputes Over Early voting Ignite In Florida

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The presidential election is still a day away and already disputes have broken out in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote.

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National Security
3:37 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Bangladeshi Man Arrested In N.Y. Bomb Plot

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 11:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A young Bangladeshi man has been charged with conspiring to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly commented on the arrest at a press conference last night.

RAYMOND KELLY: This individual came here for the purpose of doing a terrorist act.

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NPR Story
3:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Umpire Calls Are A Problem In Baseball's Post Play

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 9:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the baseball playoffs tonight, the Detroit Tigers have a chance to put the reeling New York Yankees on the brink of elimination. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have slowed the St. Louis Cardinals who'd been playing with the kind of magic touch that carried them to last year's World Series title. Last night in San Francisco, the Giants beat St. Louis 7-1 to even their National League Championship Series at one game each. NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us to talk more baseball.

Good morning.

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Business
3:42 am
Mon October 15, 2012

2 Americans Win Nobel Economics Prize

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 6:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Two Americans have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Economics for work that has to do with matching in business, medicine and marriage. The two, whose work turned out to be a good match, are Alvin Roth of Harvard and Lloyd Shapely of the University of California, Los Angeles. They will share the $1.2 million prize.

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Books
3:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Nobel Prize For Literature Announced Thursday

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:22 am

Mo Yan was one of three writers favored to win. He is perhaps best known in the West as the author of Red Sorghum, which was made into a film. He is only the second Chinese writer to win the Nobel — the other is poet Gao Xingjian, who won in 2000.

Law
12:08 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Judge Postpones Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A judge in Pennsylvania has blocked a key part of that state's new voter ID law, a law that's caused controversy. Now, come Election Day, voters showing up at the polls can still be asked to show a government-issued photo ID, but they will not be prevented from voting if they don't have one. NPR's Pam Fessler has been covering the story and she joins us now. Good morning.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So, remind us what this Pennsylvania law is - you know, why it's been making national news.

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Sports
4:14 am
Wed September 19, 2012

As NFL Labor Dispute Drags On, Fill-In Refs Criticized

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to the NFL, where these days, it's tough to say where the harder hitting is happening right now; on the field, or off - where players, coaches and the media blasted this past weekend's performance by replacement officials. The regular officials were locked out by the league in June because of a labor dispute. Joining us is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

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Asia
6:38 am
Tue September 18, 2012

In China, Ex-Police Chief Waits For Trial Verdict

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The trial of the former police chief who ignited the worst political scandal in China in decades wrapped up today. Wang Lijun is accused of trying to defect to the U.S. and covering up a murder involving the wife of a one-time powerful Communist Party official. NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following the trial from Shanghai.

And first, Frank, remind us what this case is all about.

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Afghanistan
5:51 am
Tue September 18, 2012

NATO Suspends Operations With Afghan Soldiers

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

At the heart of NATO's strategy to turn over security to Afghanistan, is the joint patrol: Afghan and international troops training and fighting shoulder-to-shoulder. Now faced with a rash of insider attacks - Afghans in uniform turning their guns on international troops - NATO is suspending most of those joint operations.

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Afghanistan
4:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Deadly Incidents Take A Toll In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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World
3:48 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Protests Continue Against Anti-Islam Film

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We begin this morning in the Middle East. The violent protests outside U.S. diplomatic missions in the region - sparked by a roughly made film insulting Muhammad - have ebbed.

INSKEEP: There is still plenty of tension, and in Kabul today, police held back more than 1,000 people who took to the streets throwing rocks at the police and chanting anti-American slogans.

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Africa
9:12 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Attack In Libya Threatens To Upset U.S. Ties

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Africa
7:03 am
Wed September 12, 2012

U.S. Condemns Killing Of Ambassador, Staff In Libya

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We come to you this morning with grim news. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans have been killed when protesters stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The protests were sparked yesterday by an American-made video circulating on the Web that ridicules Islam and the prophet Muhammad.

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NPR Story
4:18 am
Wed September 12, 2012

German Court Rules In Favor Of EU Bailout Fund

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's shaping up to be an important day for the European Union and the future of its currency. In the Netherlands, there is a parliamentary election that's expected to be a barometer of Dutch support for staying in the eurozone. Also this morning, a plan was unveiled to give the European Central Bank the power to supervise the big financial institutions in Europe. And, Germany's high court ruled that the European bailout fund is legal.

NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us now from Berlin to talk about this.

Good morning.

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Business
4:18 am
Wed September 12, 2012

4 Years After Bankruptcy, How Is Lehman Faring?

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It was four years ago this week that the big Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. Its collapse sent shockwaves around the world and brought on the worst of the financial crisis. But the story didn't end there. Lehman Brothers is still in business - sort of.

Planet Money's Adam Davidson went to its offices in New York, and is here to tell us about it.

Good morning.

ADAM DAVIDSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Business
4:24 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Gaggle Of New Gadgets Wow Tech Lovers

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 9:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in the tech world, dueling press conferences and competing corporate unveilings, this week and next, are putting the focus on new and improved gadgets.

NPR's Steve Henn joined us this morning from Silicon Valley to tell us about what's on the high tech horizon.

Good morning.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So there are a host of companies rolling out shiny new toys this week. What's catching your eye?

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Africa
10:06 am
Fri August 17, 2012

South African Police Accused Of Massacring Miners

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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World
3:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador To Decide On Assange Asylum Request

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In the latest twist to the WikiLeaks story, its founder Julian Assange has been granted political asylum by the South American nation of Ecuador. Ecuador's foreign minister made the announcement this morning, speaking through a translator.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Analysis
3:23 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Ryan Pick Was A Bold Choice For Romney Campaign

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For more on this big weekend in politics, we turn to Cokie Roberts for some analysis. Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: So we just heard in Ari's piece the excitement Paul Ryan is generating among the Republican faithful. Is that partly why Mitt Romney chose him as his running mate, to generate some of the kind of enthusiasm that has been missing from his own campaign?

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Sports
7:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Olympic Preview: Decathlon Medals To Be Awarded

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 7:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

At the London Summer Olympics, it's one star-studded 200-meter race down and one to go - today. American Allyson Felix won the women's 200 last night and was part of a U.S. track and field medal-winning binge. The Americans took seven medals at Olympic Stadium, helping push the Americans past arch-medal rival China in the overall race.

Not that anyone's counting, right, Tom Goldman?

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World
6:52 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Punk Band's Case Tests Putin's Tolerance For Dissent

Three women charged with blasphemy went on trial Monday in Russia in a case that's being seen as a major test of President Vladimir Putin's tolerance for dissent. The women are members of the band Pussy Riot. They were arrested after staging a punk rock protest at the altar of a Moscow cathedral.

Election 2012
6:45 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Controversy Followed Romney On Overseas Trip

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 1:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, wrapped up a week-long foreign trip today, with a speech in Warsaw, Poland. His trip overseas, which began in London and then on to Jerusalem, was designed to bolster Romney's foreign policy credentials, but instead it's been riddled with gaffs and controversy.

Joining us now from Warsaw, is NPR's Eric Westervelt. Good morning.

ERIC WESTERVELT, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Around the Nation
10:56 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Police In Aurora Hold Suspect, Interview Witnesses

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Eight hours ago, a gunman burst into a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, tossed in a can of tear gas, and then opened fire. Those in the audience had lined up hours in advance to get seats for the world premier of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Many were dressed festively, in costume, but the movie and the evening ended in horror.

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