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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Business
2:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Yahoo's Stock Soars, Sales Remain Flat

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

There's been excitement on Wall Street about a turnaround at Yahoo since Marissa Mayer became head of the company last year. Mayer has completed high profile acquisitions and sought to improve worker morale. Second quarter revenues missed expectations as Yahoo struggled to corral advertising dollars.

Sports
3:06 am
Tue July 16, 2013

New York Hosts Major League All-Star Game

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The best players in major league baseball take the field tonight in New York. Fans voted for their favorites in the American and National Leagues. The All-Star game is an exhibition - or mostly an exhibition - and there is a real prize. The winner gets home-field advantage during the World Series. The game also offers a chance to check on how teams are doing midway through the season.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here to talk all things baseball is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.

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Law
3:10 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Federal Probe Continues Into Trayvon Martin Shooting

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:49 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The weekend was marked by demonstrations across the country after the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case was announced. A Florida jury's acquittal of Zimmerman for shooting teenager Trayvon Martin may not mean the end of this legal odyssey. Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP is among those who called on the U.S. Justice Department to bring a federal civil rights case.

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Economy
2:51 am
Fri July 5, 2013

June Jobless Rate Expected To Hover Around 7.6 Percent

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 8:14 am

The Labor Department reported Friday that the nation's unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent in June, as employers added 195,000 jobs, and more people started to look for work.

Politics
3:03 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Obama Urges Egypt To Quickly Elect Next Civilian Government

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

On this Fourth of July, we've been following developments in Egypt, where the military has deposed the elected President Mohamed Morsi. President Obama says the U.S. is watching with, as he put it, deep concern. And he urged the generals to transition to an elected civilian government as quickly as possible.

NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about what role, if any, America plays in this situation. Good morning.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee

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Middle East
3:26 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Showdown Between Egypt's President And Army Counts Down

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 7:52 am

The 48-hour deadline Egypt's army imposed on the president to compromise with his opponents or face a military roadmap ends on Wednesday. Egypt's generals have said they will impose their own road map for ending the unrest if President Morsi can't or won't.

Sports
2:39 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Inbee Park Shares Record Book Wins With Babe Zaharias

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:19 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The talk of the sports world this morning is women's golf. A rare moment brought on by a 24-year-old from South Korea. Inbee Park won the U.S. Women's Open yesterday on Long Island. It was the third major championship on the women's pro tour this season. And Park has won all three.

In fact, she's the first woman to win the first three majors of the year since the legendary Babe Zaharias in 1950.

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello, Renee.

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Around the Nation
4:15 am
Wed June 26, 2013

After 11 Hours, Texas State Senator's Filibuster Fails

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This was the scene last night in the Texas Capitol building.

(APPLAUSE)

MONTAGNE: Crowds who came out to support a nearly 11-hour filibuster by Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis erupted in screams in an attempt to stop a vote on a bill that would have forced all but a handful of abortion clinics in Texas to close. That's because, among other things, the bill would require clinics be upgraded to ambulatory surgical centers, something that the clinics say they can't afford.

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National Security
3:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

NSA Leaker Cases Causes Riff Between U.S. And Russia

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Edward Snowden may have intended to stir things up about secret American surveillance programs. It turns out, he's also shaking up diplomatic relations between the U.S. and three countries where those relations are already edgy. The former intelligence contractor who leaked classified documents is believed to be still at a Moscow airport.

He arrived there from Hong Kong on Sunday. NPR's State Department Correspondent Michele Kelemen joins us to talk about the countries drawn into Snowden's travels. Good morning.

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Environment
2:46 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Obama To Announce Sweeping Climate Change Plan

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 9:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama today is scheduled to announce a sweeping plan to address climate change. The president has framed the issue as a moral responsibility, to leave the Earth in good shape for generations. Certainly though, the nitty-gritty of any serious plan to address climate change is a huge challenge because it means gradually moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy supplies. That will involve economic winners and losers.

Joining us to talk about the plan's specifics is NPR's Richard Harris. Good morning.

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Latin America
2:46 am
Tue June 25, 2013

In Light Of Protests, Brazil Offers Changes

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 9:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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National Security
2:45 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Snowden Case Puts U.S. In Difficult Position

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Russia's decision to allow Edward Snowden into the country as part of his around the world search for asylum has sparked outrage in Washington, D.C. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, appearing yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union," accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of aiding and abetting Snowden's escape.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "STATE OF THE UNION")

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Asia
2:40 am
Fri June 21, 2013

China's Credit Crunch Felt Across Financial Markets

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Alarm bells went off in China's financial system yesterday. That's because interest rates for loans that banks make to each other - like the loans we've just been hearing about - shot up, drying up credit as China's banks searched for cash. The effects reached markets here, where the Dow dropped more than 2 percent yesterday.

All of this seems to be caused by the Chinese government trying to send its banks a message. To explain what happened and why, we turn to NPR's correspondent in Shanghai, Frank Langfitt. Good morning.

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Middle East
3:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Voters Cast Ballots In Iran's Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Syria's ally Iran, people are voting for president today. It is Iran's first presidential election since the stunning vote in 2009. Back then, a surprisingly early declaration of victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked a wave of protests, followed by years of government repression. This time around, six candidates are contending for power amid widespread skepticism about the election, and intensive security on the streets.

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Business
3:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Gamers Converge On L.A. For Electronic Entertainment Expo

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The biggest players in the video gaming are gathered here in Los Angeles this week for E3, the industry's annual trade show. Gamers have been anticipating the unveiling of new products from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and other companies.

NPR's Laura Sydell has spent the past few days with zombies, assassins and one little plumber. Good morning.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Middle East
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Syrian Government Limits Humanitarian Aid To Qusair

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The last remaining villages of the embattled Syrian region, Qusair fell to government forces and fighters from the Lebanese-Shiite militia, Hezbollah, over the weekend. The main concern now is what's happening to the civilians there. The Syrian government has severely limited humanitarian groups, like the Red Cross, from getting in and aiding the people of Qusair.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the story from nearby Beirut. She joins us. And, Kelly, what is the situation for civilians in Qusair?

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Economy
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate Inched Up In May

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 7:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are no big surprises in this morning's job report from the government. The unemployment rate increased slightly on moderate job growth. It met or slightly exceeded expectations. This is one of the most significant economic indicators we look at every month, and joining us to discuss the Labor Department's report is NPR's Yuki Noguchi. Good morning.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What can you tell us about these numbers?

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Europe
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Kremlin Critic Claims Mass Corruption Ahead Of 2014 Olympics

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:29 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With the Olympics set to begin in Russia this coming winter, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling the preparations, quote, "a monstrous scam." That language comes from a report just released that alleges massive theft and corruption. It estimates that contractors and government officials may have already stolen as much $30 billion dollars as they build Olympic venues in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

NPR's Corey Flintoff joined us on the line with us from Moscow. Good morning.

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Politics
4:25 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Obama Expected To Select Next FBI Director

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:18 am

President Obama is expected to name former Justice Department official James Comey as the next director of the FBI, sources tell NPR. Comey is a Republican who has a reputation for bipartisanship and even-handedness.

Afghanistan
2:43 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Food Entrepreneur Is A New Breed Of Afghan Business Owner

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Europe
3:16 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Attackers Hack To Death Man On London Street

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

London is no stranger to terrorist attacks. But yesterday's events had a peculiar horror. A British soldier was hacked to death on a London street. in broad daylight. His two attackers did not try to escape. They stuck around and made speeches to bypassers, trying to justify the brutal killing. Here's one attacker, addressing a passerby filming on a cellphone.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE VIDEO)

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Afghanistan
3:14 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Select Young Afghans Chosen As Commandoes In Training

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All right, through much of this week, we've been hearing from young Afghans on the future of their country after NATO troops withdraw in 2014. Yesterday, our colleague Renee Montagne met with the American general who commands coalition forces in Afghanistan. They traveled to a special forces base where young Afghan men - and a few women - are being trained.

(SOUNDBITE OF HELICOPTER)

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Afghanistan
4:19 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Young Afghan Entrepreneur Capitalizes On Opportunities

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:28 am

Fahim Hashemi, 33, built a conglomerate from scratch. He owns a TV channel, an airline and supplies the Afghan National Army with boots and fuel. He got his start early in the war as a translator to U.S. and British forces.

Afghanistan
2:49 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Younger Generation Poised To Lead Afghanistan's Future

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, in Washington, with David Greene.

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Middle East
4:08 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Obama Administration Considers Options Against Syria

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:51 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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Europe
2:56 am
Mon April 29, 2013

After Months Of Deadlock, Italy Gets New Government

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 6:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Italy has a new government, now that a new prime minister has been sworn in to preside over a grand coalition of that country's political parties, among them, the party of Silvio Berlusconi, if not the man himself. It took a lot of wrangling, leaving Italy without a government for two months, and it still has to get past a confidence vote in parliament today. We go now to NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Rome. Good morning.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Europe
7:38 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Cyprus Proposes Exempting Smaller Deposits From Tax

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Lawmakers in Cyprus are trying to ease rage over a proposed tax on all bank deposits by exempting people who have relatively small accounts. It's part of a bailout plan for that Mediterranean country negotiated with the E.U. and IMF over the weekend, but the compromise on taxes may not be enough for Cyprus' parliament to pass the plan.

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Business
2:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

EU Bailout Tax Sparks Bank Run In Cyprus

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Politics
2:48 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Ends Filibuster After Nearly 13 Hours

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Just before noon yesterday, with much of Washington at home for a snowstorm that never really materialized, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took the floor of the Senate.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan's nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak.

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Religion
10:04 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Benedict XVI Leaves The Vatican, Headed To Retirement

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're hearing this morning that Pope Benedict has left the Vatican. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is covering the first papal retirement in 600 years, and she joins us now from Rome. And Sylvia, describe the scene for us there.

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