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.



For the second straight year, one of the NBA's greatest players is leaving the playoff party early. Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers are out. Last night, they lost their second round series against the young and explosive Oklahoma City Thunder, four games to one. The Thunder's big three - Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden - combined for 70 points in Oklahoma City's 106-90 win. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now on the line.

Good morning.




And now we go to southern Afghanistan for an update on an incident that threatened to undermine America's mission in this country. In March, an American soldier massacred villagers near a remote outpost west of Kandahar. An Army sergeant, Robert Bales, is in custody, accused of that crime.

I reached NPR's Tom Bowman who is in Kandahar now, just back from the area where Sgt. Bales was assigned.

And Tom, I understand you were just a mile or two from where those killings took place.



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


And I'm David Greene.

Our own Renee Montagne is in Afghanistan at a moment when its relationship with the United States is turning a corner. And for the next couple of weeks, Renee is going to be bringing us a range of voices and also opinions about what lies ahead. Renee joins us now from Kabul.

Renee, good morning.


Morning, David.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan on a long-planned trip that has turned into something of a fence-mending mission. A U.S. soldier is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians. That attack is the latest in a series of negative events involving U.S. forces.



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


And I'm Renee Montagne.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan. It's a long-planned trip that's turned into something of a fence-mending mission. Yesterday, Panetta met with U.S. Marines and Afghan troops in the southern province of Helmand.

Judges at a war crimes tribunal convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga of snatching children from the street and turning them into killers. A sentencing hearing will now be scheduled. Lubanga faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

U.S. officials have not released the name of the U.S. soldier accused of killing some 16 Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan over the weekend. The shootings come as anti-Americanism already is boiling over in Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month.



Lawyers for BP, and thousands of people affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, had been expected, for a long time, to be in a New Orleans courtroom this morning for a civil trial. Instead, they're reviewing a deal to settle the case.

BP estimates it would pay nearly $8 billion in the settlement. In exchange, the company would avoid revisiting, in a courtroom, what led up to the drilling rig explosion that killed 11 men and poured massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

In certain parts of Syria, the violence is unending and it is mainly focused on the city of Homs. For the past 25 days, the Syrian army has been bombarding the neighborhoods of Homs that have been resistant to the government.

Politics In The News

Jan 30, 2012

The Republican Party holds its fourth presidential nominating contest tomorrow in Florida. Renee Montagne talks to NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts about the week in politics.



The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and leading the pack with 11 nominations is the 3D movie "Hugo." It's about a Paris street urchin who befriends one of the inventors of cinema. "Hugo" was nominated for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay, among others. NPR's Neda Ulaby joins us to talk about the Oscar nominations, and good morning.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What else was nominated for best picture?

North Korea has announced its leader Kim Jong Il has died at age 69. The state news agency reports that he had a heart attack.

House Republicans are rejecting a bipartisan compromise approved overwhelmingly by the Senate Saturday. The deal would have extended the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits through February.



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

So, it looks like the federal government is not going to shut down at midnight tonight. That's good news. Congressional negotiators say they've reached an agreement to move forward on a trillion-dollar-plus spending plan. It would fund the government through October. There are still some end-of-year issues that haven't been resolved.

Hundreds Of LA Police Takeover Occupy Camp

Nov 30, 2011

Police in LA moved in overnight at the camp of Occupy protesters. The raid began two days after protesters were told to leave. Police took also took similar action in Philadelphia.

The child sex abuse scandal at Penn State is raising more and more questions about who knew what, when and what actions were, or were not taken. Elements of the unfolding scandal remain quite confusing. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with abusing young boys.

Shares of the daily deal company Groupon hit the Nasdaq stock exchange Friday after an IPO raised about $700 million. The company has been dogged by investor concerns over management and questions about its accounting methods.



Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with congratulations to R.J. Balson and Son. The butcher shop on the south coast of England has been named Britain's oldest family-run business, and is it ever. Balson's began selling sausages and bacon in 1535 when Henry VIII was king and still married to Ann Boleyn. Twenty-five generations later, owner Richard Balson tells the Daily Mail his son will join the business next year, and that son has a son, too. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.



Last Word

Nov 3, 2011

America's original discount store has filed for federal bankruptcy protection and plans to close its 46 stores. This isn't the first time the company has filed for bankruptcy, but it appears to be its last. The company cited increased competition from department stores, private-label discounters and the economic downturn.



Arizona is one of a handful of states that hands the redistricting to an independent commission, instead of its legislature. At least that's what's supposed to happen. In a stunning move last night, though, the Arizona Senate and its governor ousted the head of the state's independent commission.

NPR's Ted Robbins joins us from our bureau in Tucson to explain. Good morning, Ted.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: What exactly happened?