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.

Over the years, Montagne has done thousands of interviews on a wide range of topics: Kurt Vonnegut on how he transformed surviving the WWII firebombing of Dresden into the novel Slaughterhouse Five; National Guardsmen on how they handle the holidays in Iraq; a Hollywood historian on how the famous hillside sign came to be; Toni Morrison on the dreams and memories she turned into novels; and Bud Montagne, Renee's father, remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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 five times, traveling throughout the country and interviewing farmers and mullahs, women and poll workers, the president and an infamous warlord. She spent a month during the summer of 2009 reporting on the Afghanistan politics and election. She has produced three series: 2002's "Recreating Afghanistan"; 2004's "Afghanistan Votes"; and 2006's "The War: Five Years On."

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, the daughter of a Marine Corps family, was born in California and spent much of her childhood in Hawaii and Arizona. She 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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10:12am

Wed September 12, 2012
Africa

Attack In Libya Threatens To Upset U.S. Ties

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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8:16am

Wed September 12, 2012
Africa

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

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:28 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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5:18am

Wed September 12, 2012
NPR Story

4 Years After Bankruptcy, How Is Lehman Faring?

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:28 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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5:18am

Wed September 12, 2012
Europe

German Court Rules In Favor Of EU Bailout Fund

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:28 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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5:24am

Thu September 6, 2012
Business

Gaggle Of New Gadgets Wow Tech Lovers

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:17 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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5:23am

Fri August 17, 2012
Africa

South African Police Accused Of Massacring Miners

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

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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4:38am

Thu August 16, 2012
World

Ecuador To Decide On Assange Asylum Request

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 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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4:23am

Mon August 13, 2012
Analysis

Ryan Pick Was A Bold Choice For Romney Campaign

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 6:43 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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8:03am

Thu August 9, 2012
Sports

Olympic Preview: Decathlon Medals To Be Awarded

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 8:43 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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6:47am

Thu August 9, 2012
Asia

Chinese Court Hears Murder Case In One Day

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 8:03 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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4:50am

Wed August 8, 2012
Sports

Decathlon, Beach Volleyball In Olympic Spotlight

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 11:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Olympic Games in London have already brought a lot of drama and made some history, as well. And today and tomorrow could bring more memorable moments.

NPR's Howard Berkes is covering his eighth Olympics and he joins us now to tell us about what we can look forward to. Good morning.

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: I see the decathlon is on your list of events to pay attention to today. Outside of the Olympics, of course, most of us don't pay a lot of attention to that particular sport. Why today?

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7:45am

Tue July 31, 2012
Election 2012

Controversy Followed Romney On Overseas Trip

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 2:02 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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7:19am

Tue July 31, 2012
NPR Story

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

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:52 am

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.

11:56am

Fri July 20, 2012
Around the Nation

Police In Aurora Hold Suspect, Interview Witnesses

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 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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11:17am

Fri July 20, 2012
Around the Nation

Obama: Keep Aurora In Your Hearts And Thoughts

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

I'm sorry to interrupt that conversation, but we have developments to bring you, here, involving the Colorado shooting last night in Aurora, Colorado. President Obama's commenting on the tragedy. Let's listen for a moment.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved. They were mothers and fathers, they were husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.

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9:34am

Fri July 20, 2012
Around the Nation

Gunman Picks Off Theatergoers Trying To Escape

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 9:45 am

Authorities in Aurora, Colo., say a gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater. Police are searching the suspects apartment.

8:48am

Fri July 20, 2012
Around the Nation

Choas Reigns During Colo. Theater Shooting

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 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.

Read more

4:39am

Fri July 20, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Fighting Spreads Across Damascus

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 3:41 pm

A gunman opened fire early Friday at a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killing at least 12 people and leaving dozens more injured, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. Steve Inskeep talks to Chayyiel Jackson about the shooting.

4:30am

Mon July 16, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Violence Escalates Into Civil War

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Across the border in Syrian, reports of clashes between the army and rebels overnight in a neighborhood in Damascus. It was some of the heaviest fighting so far in the capital, according to residents and activists who say the army for the first time bombarded one neighborhood with mortars.

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4:30am

Mon July 16, 2012
Analysis

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 8:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama will be in the swing state of Ohio again today. He'll be holding his first big town hall meeting of the campaign in Cincinnati. And the president will likely continue his campaign attack against Mitt Romney's record of what Democrats characterize as sending jobs overseas while he was the head of Bain Capital. Over the weekend, the president said he would not apologize for those attacks.

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7:48am

Fri July 13, 2012
Business

JPMorgan: Trading Loss Grows To $4.4 Billion

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, this morning released its second quarter results. It's net income was $5 billion, but it turns out that loses in a failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader were much higher than what the bank originally said the loss would be. In fact, JPMorgan lost $4.4 billion last quarter on those risky trades.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that's not the full extent of the firm's damage.

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5:26am

Mon July 2, 2012
Sports

100 Meters Runoff To Decide 3rd Place Finisher

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 7:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The 100 meters is the fastest running event in Olympic track and field. But for the last nine days, the women's 100 at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in Eugene, Oregon has been stalled by a much talked about tie. Today, finally, a resolution. Sprinters Alyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will race in a run-off to break their tie for third place in the 100 they first ran two Saturday's ago. First one to cross the finish line today makes the U.S. women's 100 team. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us to talk about this.

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5:13am

Wed June 27, 2012
Africa

Egypt's Military Has More Power Than Civilian President

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer, in for Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In Egypt, a small victory for civil rights: A court there suspended a decree that allowed the military to arrest civilians. Other moves to amass power by the ruling military council, including dissolving Egypt's elected parliament, are still in effect.

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4:46am

Wed June 20, 2012
Sports

NBA Finals: Miami Takes 3-1 Lead Over Oklahoma City

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For the Miami Heat, it's three down, one to go. Last night in Miami, the Heat pulled within one win of an NBA championship, with 104 to 98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. That gives Miami a 3-to-1 lead in the series and a comforting statistic for Heat fans to think about until tomorrow night's game 5. No team in NBA history has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now to talk about it.

Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi.

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6:51am

Fri June 15, 2012
Africa

Battle For Power Coming To A Head In Egypt

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Egypt's transition to democracy has taken a blow, one so serious that opposition forces are calling it a coup. The country's Supreme Constitutional Court yesterday issued two rulings. One dissolved Egypt's first freely elected parliament, now filled mostly with Islamists. The other threw out a law that forbade members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's regime from running for high office.

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6:36am

Thu June 14, 2012
Middle East

Yemen Works To Reclaim Al-Qaida's Territory

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 7:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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11:49am

Fri June 8, 2012
NPR Story

Obama Urges Congress To Take Action On Economy

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 3:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One thing about the economic pain Spain, and other EU countries, are now experiencing - it's offering something of a break to President Obama in this campaign season, where he's trying to fend off Republican attacks on his handling of the sluggish American economy. In a White House press conference this morning, the president was able to point to Europe's financial woes as a drag on the economy here in the U.S.

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6:04am

Thu June 7, 2012
Education

How The Housing Industry Affects Students' Future

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to hear now about some surprising consequences of the weak housing market in this country. It turns out that the value - even on a paper - of a home can affect the college choices that a family makes.

NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to discuss social science research. He's here this morning to talk about those new findings. And good morning.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: This new research, describe it for us.

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6:17am

Thu May 24, 2012
Africa

Egyptians Vote In 2nd Day Of Presidential Election

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The first free presidential election in Egypt is in its second day. Thirteen candidates are vying to replace Hosni Mubarak in what many there say is a wide-open race. The last election in 2005 saw Mubarak winning 87 percent of the vote against another candidate, a candidate he later threw in jail. Voter turnout yesterday was so strong, election officials kept polling stations open across Egypt for an additional hour.

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4:32am

Wed May 23, 2012
Movies

65th Annual Cannes Film Festival Opens In France

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 5:09 am

The movie being talked about the most at this year's Cannes Film Festival in the south of France is Michael Haneke's Amour. It's the 65th anniversary of the festival.

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