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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4:00am

Tue December 20, 2011
Asia

North Koreans Honor Late Leader Kim Jong Il

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 8:14 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The body of North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il lies in state today in a glass coffin in the capital, Pyongyang. In the three days since his death, little has emerged about what's next in North Korea, other than a state funeral has been set for next week.

Governments around the region are monitoring for signs of instability, and they're also debating how to respond to the events.

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4:00am

Mon December 19, 2011
Asia

North Korea's 'Dear Leader' Kim Jong Il Dies

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 7:20 am

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.

4:00am

Mon December 19, 2011
Politics

Fight Over Extending Payroll Tax Cut Flares Up Again

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.

4:00am

Fri December 16, 2011
Politics

Negotiators Reach Deal To Keep Government Open

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 3:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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4:00am

Thu December 15, 2011
Iraq

Baghdad Ceremony Formally Ends Iraq War

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 6:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. On what was once one of America's busiest bases in Iraq, the flag of U.S. forces was rolled up this morning, ready to be sent home to America. It's a ceremony known as the casing of the colors. And Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was there, marking the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. We reached NPR's Kelly McEvers at that ceremony. And, Kelly, describe where you are.

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5:19am

Wed November 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Hundreds Of LA Police Takeover Occupy Camp

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.

4:00am

Mon November 28, 2011
Africa

Egyptians Cast Ballots In 1st Stage Of Parliamentary Elections

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 5:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's turn to the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, where hundreds of women lined up at one polling center this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

MONTAGNE: For many in this women's line, this is the first election in which they feel their choice will count. We reached NPR's Soraya Sorhadi Nelson in Alexandria. Good morning.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: And generally speaking, what are you seeing at polling stations there in Alexandria?

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4:00am

Mon November 28, 2011
Analysis

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 6:09 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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4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
Around the Nation

Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal Still Raises Questions

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.

4:00am

Mon November 14, 2011
Analysis

Obama Sends Signals To Debt Committee To Act

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 6:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And as Ari said just a moment ago, President Obama will be back in Washington just before that supercommittee's deadline. Before the president left for Hawaii, he picked up the phone and made calls to both the Democratic and Republican chairs of the group.

To talk about that and more, let's turn now to NPR's Cokie Roberts. Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Let's start with what those phone calls were about.

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4:00am

Mon November 7, 2011
Europe

Greek Prime Minister Papandreou To Step Down

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 6:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The political drama in Greece now turns to who will govern that economically troubled country. Prime Minister George Papandreou has vowed to the opposition's demand that he step down to make way for a coalition government. The idea is that a government of national unity can steer Greece through austerity measures and save a bailout deal that's widely seen as the country's last chance. The new premiere is expected to be named today. Joanna Kakissis joined us from Athens with the latest. Good morning.

: Good morning.

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9:15am

Fri November 4, 2011
NPR Story

Groupon Makes Market Debut

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 9:15 am

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.

5:53am

Fri November 4, 2011
Strange News

England's Oldest Family-Run Business Still Selling

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 10:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

6:15am

Thu November 3, 2011
Strange News

Woman Passes Driver's Test While In Labor

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 7:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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4:00am

Wed November 2, 2011
Politics

Head Of Ariz. Redistricting Commission Fired

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 2:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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?

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4:00am

Wed October 26, 2011
Europe

Hurdles Facing EU Leaders At Brussels Debt Summit

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, host: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: And I'm Renee Montagne.

The European Union is facing the worst crisis in its history and it has to the potential to affect us all. The meltdown in Greece could eventually imperil the entire global financial system. Today in Brussels, Europe's leaders will make another attempt at finalizing a eurozone survival plan. But time is short and the stakes could not be higher. The key players have big national issues to worry about.

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4:00am

Fri October 21, 2011
NPR Story

Arab World Reacts To Gadhafi's Death

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 7:32 am

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, host: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: And I'm Renee Montagne.

Libyans awoke, this morning, to a new dawn, a nation no longer in the grip of a dictator. Moammar Gadhafi was killed yesterday, after being captured in his hometown of Sirte, where fierce fighting had raged for weeks between his loyalists and anti-Gadhafi forces.

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4:00am

Thu October 20, 2011
NPR Story

European Leaders Try To Keep Debt Crisis From Spreading

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 11:50 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

More demonstrations are being staged today in Greece as its parliament votes on another round of stinging austerity measures. Yesterday's protests ended in vicious street battles between police and protesters. Meanwhile, European leaders seem deadlocked on plans to stop the Greek debt crisis from spilling into the rest of the eurozone. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Athens.

And, Sylvia, how are people reacting to yesterday's turmoil and clashes over these austerity measures?

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4:00am

Tue October 18, 2011
Middle East

Israeli Soldier Freed In Exchange For Palestinian Prisoners

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 8:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A dramatic prisoner swap is underway now, between Israel and the Palestinians. After five years in captivity, Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, is free. He is in Israel, and we'll go there in a moment.

First, to the West Bank and the city of Ramallah. That's where NPR's Peter Kenyon is, surrounded by a jubilant crowd of Palestinians.

Good morning, Peter.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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9:29am

Tue October 11, 2011
Race

Latinos On TV: Laughing At Culture, Laughing With It

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 7:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: With us to listen in on how Spanish has been used on television is NPR's Felix Contreras, producer for NPR's Arts Desk.

And, Felix, when did U.S. audiences start to hear Spanish on the airwaves?

FELIX CONTRERAS: You know, pretty much since the earliest days of the medium. And the most prominent example of this is the show that set viewing records in the 1950s and also featured a character with a thick accent who struggled with English.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "I LOVE LUCY")

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6:09am

Tue October 11, 2011
National Security

Underwear Bomber Trial To Begin In Detroit

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 7:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Today, opening statements are scheduled for a man who became instantly famous in the Christmas season in 2009. Omar Farouk Abdulmutallub is a young Nigerian. He's accused of attempting to bring down an airliner bound for Detroit with explosives in his underwear.

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4:00am

Mon October 10, 2011
Analysis

This Week In Politics

President Obama has been going around the country trying to rev up crowds demanding Congress pass his jobs bill. But besides Republicans, some Democrats also oppose Obama's plan.

4:00am

Fri October 7, 2011
World

Nobel Peace Prize Announcement

Originally published on Fri October 7, 2011 10:55 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, host: This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: And I'm Renee Montagne. The winner - or should I say the winners - of the Nobel Peace Prize were unveiled in Oslo earlier this morning. The announcement was made by the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

THJORBORN JAGLAND: The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 is to be divided in three equal parts between Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman.

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12:19pm

Thu October 6, 2011
Economy

Obama To Congress: Make Jobs Proposal Top Priority

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama sought this morning to put his proposal to create American jobs at the top of Congress' to-do list. The president has traveled the country in recent weeks, trying to rally public support for his $447 billion plan. And today, he held a press conference at the White House.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And the reason I keep going around the country talking about this jobs bill is because people really need help right now. Our economy really needs a jolt right now.

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4:00am

Wed October 5, 2011
Europe

Public Sector Workers Strike Paralyzes Greece

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 5:28 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Steve Inskeep is away.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We're going to hear now about the continuing economic woes of Greece. It's one of the small European Union countries drowning in debt. Today it faces yet another protest. This time, a general strike by workers in the public sector furious about more cuts aimed at them. The pressure to shrink the government payroll is coming from international creditors.

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4:00am

Thu September 8, 2011
Afghanistan

How Jalalabad Became A Hot Bed Of Afghan Insurgency

Reporting from Afghanistan, Morning Edition's Renee Montagne looks at the city of Jalalabad. That's where top al Qaida leaders were last seen as they fled Kabul, and disappeared into the mountains of Tora Bora on their way to Pakistan.

4:00am

Tue August 23, 2011
Europe

Will Srauss-Kahn Return To French Politics?

Originally published on Fri August 26, 2011 9:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

We turn now to Eleanor Beardsley in Paris to see how the news is being taken there. Good morning, Eleanor.

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: You know, what is the reaction in France?

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4:00am

Tue August 23, 2011
Africa

Rebels Battle For Control Of Libya Is Not Over Yet

Originally published on Tue August 23, 2011 5:12 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, host:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In Libya, confusion today over what progress the rebels have made in their battle to take Tripoli. The rebel's most dramatic claim, a claim that they'd captured Moammar Gadhafi's son and heir apparent fell apart when Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi made a surprise visit to foreign journalists last night. It raises questions about what is happening with the transitional government in the rebel capital of Benghazi.

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4:00am

Tue August 23, 2011
Africa

Gadhafi's Son Resurfaces, Takes Journalists On Tour

Originally published on Tue August 23, 2011 6:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, Host:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

And I'm Renee Montagne. In Libya, what had looked like a day of triumph for rebels, turned grim yesterday. It was unclear how much progress rebels had actually made in taking the capitol Tripoli, and Moammar Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, made a surprise appearance, then flashed the victory sign, after rebels claim to have captured him.

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4:00am

Mon August 22, 2011
Africa

White House Says It's Time For Gadhafi To Go

President Obama says it is time for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime to officially end. The U.S. has played a key role in supporting the NATO campaign that began in March — aimed at protecting civilians and the rebels.

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