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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5:36am

Tue May 22, 2012
Sports

Thunder Force L.A. Lakers Out Of NBA Playoffs

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 6:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi.

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4:22am

Wed May 9, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghan Operation Update

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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6:05am

Thu May 3, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghans Fear Their Country Will Fall Back Into War

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 10:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Morning, David.

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5:18am

Tue April 24, 2012
Media

British Panels Continue Probe Into Press Abuses By News Corp.

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The scandal that's engulfed Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is taking center stage in London, at the Royal Courts of Justice, once again. Here, his son James Murdoch.

JAMES MURDOCH: I swear by the mighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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4:00am

Tue April 17, 2012
Religion

China's Policy On Tibet 'Must Be Realistic'

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're going to hear now from a religious leader revered by Tibetan Buddhists and admired by countless others - the 14th Dalai Lama. A year ago he stepped down as the political leader of Tibet's government in exile to devote himself to spreading a spiritual message of compassion and peace. Still, he's been drawn into talking about violence since a wave of deadly protests swept through the Tibetan areas of China.

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4:00am

Wed April 11, 2012
Asia

Despite Warnings, North Korea Prepares To Launch Rocket

North Korea says a three-stage rocket on the launch pad will carry a weather satellite into space. The launch is intended to mark the centenary of the birth of North Korea's founder, but the move has been condemned by the United Nations, the United States and North Korea's neighbors.

11:32am

Tue April 10, 2012
The Salt

More, Better, Faster Sushi? Call In A 'Sushi Bot'

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 8:39 pm

Suzbo sushi roller.
Youtube.com

Wired reports that "sushi bots" were among the eye-catching products at the World Food and Beverage Great Expo, which just wrapped up in Tokyo.

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4:00am

Tue April 10, 2012
Sports

Miami Outraged Over Guillen's Castro Comments

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 6:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And one of baseball's better-known characters, with a knack for testing the boundaries of free speech, has created a controversy in the very first week of the season. Ozzie Guillen, new manager of the Miami Marlins, is holding a press conference today in Miami to apologize. It's all about some comments he made about Cuba's Fidel Castro. Joining us now is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: OK. What did he say?

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8:31am

Thu March 15, 2012
Afghanistan

Panetta, Karzai Meet After Villagers Are Massacred

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.

4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Afghanistan

On Afghan Trip, Panetta Meets With Karzai

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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4:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
Afghanistan

Shooting Adds To Afghans' Anti-American Feelings

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.

4:00am

Wed March 7, 2012
Economy

Housing Stalls Election Year Economic Growth

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 6:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's devote the next few minutes to the subject that President Obama began his press conference on, the U.S. housing market. The president pointed out that in many ways the U.S. economy is looking up. But...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There are still millions of Americans who can't find a job. There are millions more who are having a tough time making the rent or the mortgage, paying for gas or groceries. So our job in Washington isn't to sit back and do nothing. And it's certainly not to stand in the way of the recovery.

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4:00am

Mon March 5, 2012
Law

Deal Reached On Gulf Oil Spill Victims

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 10:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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11:34am

Thu March 1, 2012
Africa

Americans Detained In Egypt Now Allowed To Leave

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. American democracy activists held in Egypt are headed home today. The nongovernmental organizations whose employees were being held confirmed that the travel ban had been lifted. The workers were being held in Egypt on charges of fomenting unrest. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Cairo, and she joins us now on the line.

Soraya, how many people are leaving Egypt altogether - I mean Americans?

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4:00am

Thu March 1, 2012
Middle East

Syria Continues Crushing Offensive In Homs

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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4:00am

Tue February 28, 2012
Middle East

Death Toll Rises As Syrian Troops Bombard Homs

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.

9:48am

Wed February 22, 2012
U.S.

Massey Officials Charged In 2010 Coal Mine Blast

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 9:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We have an update now on a story NPR's been investigating for almost two years. This morning, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges in a 2010 coal mine explosion in West Virginia. Twenty-nine mine workers died in the blast at the Upper Big Branch mine. The charges reach into the management ranks of Massey Energy, the company that operated the mine. NPR's Howard Berkes joins us now for details.

Good morning, Howard.

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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4:00am

Mon February 20, 2012
Politics

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 7:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's talk more about where Rick Santorum stands and about his rivals, with NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, we just heard from Sonari that Rick Santorum has surged in Michigan, and that would be, of course, Mitt Romney's native state. And that is one that Romney really cannot afford to lose. So what is he doing to stop Santorum, as of today, and what's it looking like?

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4:00am

Mon February 20, 2012
Africa

Wade's Re-Election Bid Rocks Senegal's Stability

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 7:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is Morning Edition from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Senegal, on the coast of West Africa, has been something of a model of stability for a region known for its volatility. But this past week has brought protests and violence to Senegal after demonstrations over a presidential election this coming weekend led to clashes with riot police. We've got NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton on the line from the capital Dakar to tell us what is going on there.

Good morning, Ofeibea.

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12:01am

Tue February 14, 2012
The Impact of War

Building Better Houses For Wounded Soldiers

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:02 am

The Wounded Warrior Home Project is an inventive approach to military housing, serving the needs of wounded soldiers and their families as they continue to serve on active duty at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

All wars bring innovations — in weapons, and also in ways to repair the damage done. Penicillin is one of the more famous examples: It came into use as a treatment for troops in World War II.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought their own breakthroughs, none more dramatic than the prosthetics that come close to giving back what has been lost. And big advances in treating grievous injuries have meant many more troops coming home alive.

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4:00am

Thu February 9, 2012
Afghanistan

U.S. Strategy For Afghan War Reaches Critical Stage

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to look now at American military strategy for the war in Afghanistan. There's been some confusion lately about whether American forces would end their combat mission sooner than planned and also about how long the U.S. will remain in Afghanistan. So to try to make sense of it all, we're joined by NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.

Good morning.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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4:00am

Mon February 6, 2012
Business

GOP Contests Move To Colorado, Minnesota

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 6:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Republican presidential primary season heads into another phase this week, as Colorado and Minnesota voters choose their candidates tomorrow. Over the weekend, Mitt Romney scored a huge victory in the Nevada caucuses, besting his closest rival, Newt Gingrich, by double digits.

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4:00am

Mon February 6, 2012
Middle East

Egypt To Try 19 Americans In NGO Dispute

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 7:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The military-led government in Egypt, in a defiant gesture, says it will put on trial 19 Americans and some two dozen others, over work they've been doing to help Egypt in its transition to democracy. Those facing charges include the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, along with others working for nonprofits promoting civil society and good governance.

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12:56pm

Fri February 3, 2012
Health Care

Komen Issues Apology In Planned Parenthood Flap

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 12:57 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with a reversal from the Komen Foundation. The Susan G. Komen For The Cure Foundation has just announced that it will not pull its funding for Planned Parenthood after all. The breast cancer charity endured a massive backlash when it announced, earlier this week, it would no longer give Planned Parenthood money for breast cancer screening. NPR's Julie Rovner joins us to explain the turnaround. And Julie, what exactly did the Komen Foundation say this morning?

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4:00am

Thu January 26, 2012
Movies

'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Shines At Sundance

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Sundance Film Festival wraps up this weekend in Park City, Utah. Movies and more movies have been on offer at the gathering, famously backed by Robert Redford. Our own Kenneth Turan is taking it all in and joined us from member station KPCW in Park City.

Good morning.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Well, let us begin with the dramatic films. What stands out for you this year?

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9:59am

Tue January 24, 2012
Movies

'Hugo,' 'The Artist' Lead Oscar Nominations

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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?

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4:00am

Wed January 18, 2012
Middle East

Resolve Of Syria's Pro-Government Forces Hardens

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 5:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When President Obama met yesterday with the king of Jordan, much of their talk focused on Jordan's neighbor, Syria. Both governments are trying to figure out how to pressure Syria's president to step down. So far, 10 months of protest by Syria's own people hasn't convinced Bashar al-Assad to do that. Instead, he's cracked down.

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4:00am

Mon January 16, 2012
Sports

NFL Playoff Results

Originally published on Mon January 16, 2012 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Football fans were again glued to their TVs over the weekend, and the latest round of the NFL playoffs did not disappoint. The team with the best record in the regular season, the Green Bay Packers, lost to the New York Giants. And the New England Patriots beat the Denver Broncos, tamping down Tebow mania.

Here to discuss it all is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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4:00am

Mon January 16, 2012
Analysis

Huntsman To Throw His Support To Romney

Originally published on Mon January 16, 2012 7:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

To talk more about those opponents and what's happening on the campaign trail, we turn now to NPR's Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. Good morning, Cokie.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: So let's - it looks like there's one less rival in the Republican contest, now that former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is expected to drop out today and throw his support to Mitt Romney. Let's talk about the likely effect on the rest of the contenders.

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4:00am

Fri December 23, 2011
Politics

House Leaders Do An About-Face On Tax Extension

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 6:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

It appears as if the bitter fighting in Congress is about to come to an end just in time for Christmas. Today, the House and the Senate are expected to approve an extension of the payroll tax holiday and benefits for the long-term unemployed. This required a major reversal for House Republicans who, earlier this week, voted to reject a nearly identical compromise.

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