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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Middle East
4:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

U.S. to Step Up Its Involvement In Syria

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

After two years and an estimated 70,000 deaths, the U.S. is about to step up its involvement in Syria's civil war. The Obama administration has offered more direct aid to the Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the aid today after meeting with Syrian opposition leaders in Rome.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Politics
4:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Politics In The News

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

Usually when we come up to the edge of one of these deadlines there are 11th-hour negotiations, and the two parties manage to swerve away from the precipice at the last minute. What about this time?

Around the Nation
4:24 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Manhunt For Fired-LAPD Officer Appears Over

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:49 am

In Southern California, the week-long manhunt for Christopher Dorner appears to be over. He is the former LAPD officer who is believed to be responsible for four murders.

Religion
3:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Pope Resignation Reaction

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:57 am

The Catholic church continues to grow in Africa, and analysts say that there is a good chance the next pope will be from Africa. In Mexico, Catholicism remains the predominant religion though the percentage is falling.

Religion
5:00 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI To Resign Feb. 28

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Surprising news this morning from the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI has announced he is resigning at the end of this month. It is an unprecedented departure in modern times. The last time a pope stepped down, it was 1415, the Middle Ages. At 85 years old, Benedict said he was no longer up to the physical demands of the papacy. We've got NPR's Sylvia Poggioli on the line now live from Rome. Good morning.

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Analysis
3:38 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Politics In the News

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama is taking his campaign against gun violence to the country, beginning today with a trip to Minneapolis and a visit to that city's police department. Many police organizations favor tougher gun laws. The president leaves behind a new Congress that's getting down to business. And consuming most of lawmakers' time: the budget and the deficit.

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Economy
4:09 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Latest Jobless Rate Forecast To Hold Steady

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. More signs today of a slow, slow economic recovery. The Labor Department reports the economy added 157,000 new jobs last month. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly, to 7.9 percent. To tell us what's behind these numbers, we're joined by NPR business correspondent Yuki Noguchi, and also our White House correspondent, Scott Horsley. Good morning to both of you.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Politics
4:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Government Spending Debate Affects Politics, Economy

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That sharp drop in government spending that put the squeeze on the economy last quarter, as we just heard, is likely to be repeated. This spring, the government is set to make additional cuts to spending, including defense, unless lawmakers agree on a different plan. So far there's little agreement in Washington about the optimum size or shape of government spending.

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about this in our Business Bottom Line. Good morning, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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U.S.
8:55 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Smaller Crowds At Capitol, But 2009's Enthusiasm Persists

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Steve, thanks very much. Now let's go just beyond the capital building, into the National Mall. That's where NPR's Ailsa Chang is. And she's between the Capitol, as I understand it, Ailsa, and the Washington Monument, right there in the thick of things.

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Around the Nation
5:45 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Inaugural Parade Begins At The Pentagon Moves To D.C.

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. One of the liveliest parts of today's events dates back to the very first Inauguration, and that would be the inaugural parade. After George Washington took his oath of office, he was joined by a procession made up of local militias as he made his way from Mount Vernon to New York City. Today, the parade is a colorful blend of marching bands, floats and different organizations led by ceremonial military regiments.

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Around the Nation
5:18 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Crowds Begin Converging On Washington, D.C.

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Politics
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Much Has Changed Since Obama's 1st Inauguration

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

President Obama's second inauguration is not expected to have record-setting crowds. Also, the president is not the same man as he was four years ago.

Africa
4:55 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Algeria Hostage Crisis Stretches Into Another Day

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:11 am

On Thursday, Algerian forces opened fire on Islamists holding dozens of foreigners hostage. The militants, who have been linked to al-Qaida, say they took over the gas facility deep into the Sahara Desert in retaliation for France's attack on Islamic militants in the west African nation of Mali.

Africa
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

U.N. Holds Emergency Meeting On Mali Crisis

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 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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National Security
5:56 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Obama To Pick New Pentagon, CIA Leaders

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama wants a Republican to be his next secretary of Defense, and some Republicans really don't like the choice.

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Analysis
3:59 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And joining us now, as she does most Monday, is Cokie Roberts. Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee. Happy New Year.

MONTAGNE: Happy New Year to you. So, Cokie, we seem to be getting the next year, or this new year, right back where we ended in the last Congress, and that's bickering over everything. And as we've just heard, that includes, big time, the president's cabinet appointment of a former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel. Tell us more about what's going on there, a little bit more history.

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Economy
2:34 am
Thu December 27, 2012

5 Days Left To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff" Extremes

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:06 am

President Obama returns to Washington Thursday as do members of the U.S. Senate. They're cutting holiday plans short in hopes of coming up with a deal to avoid the tax hikes and budget cuts set to take effect on Jan. 1.

Middle East
4:07 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Despite Protests, Egypt Has A New Constitution

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:02 am

After weeks of protests and intermittent violence, Egypt officially has a new constitution. Election officials say the Islamist-backed constitution passed a referendum with nearly 64 percent in favor. Secularists fear the charter would usher in Islamic rule and restrict freedoms.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The contentious fight over labor rights has been unfolding throughout the Midwest in the last couple of years. Michigan is only the latest example.

NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea joins us now to explore the broader impact of all this. Good morning, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So how is what has happened in Michigan different from what we've seen over the past couple of years in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Republican governors also took on labor unions?

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Middle East
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Fighting In Syrian Capital Remains Intense

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:54 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held an emergency meeting with her Russian counterpart in Dublin Thursday to try to reach new consensus on how to end the Syrian conflict. A prominent human rights group has put the death toll in Syria at 42,000 people killed in the nearly two years of fighting there — which began with a series of political protests, and turned into an armed rebellion.

Around the Nation
3:04 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Deal Reached In Calif. Port Workers Strike

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

After eight days and billions of dollars in lost business, the shutdown at the nation's busiest port hub is over. Striking clerks at the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have reached a tentative agreement with managers. At issue: worries about outsourcing jobs. The clerks, hundreds of them, and ten thousand longshoremen, who refused to cross picket lines, head back to work this morning.

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Economy
4:55 am
Tue December 4, 2012

White House Rejects GOP's Counteroffer

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's talk about that new offer now. The proposal from House Republicans includes a combination of revenue raising and spending cuts. What it doesn't include is any rise in tax rates.

To help us dig into this offer and what it means for the state of negotiations, we're joined by NPR congressional reporter Tamara Keith.

Good morning.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: House Republicans are billing this as a bold counter-offer. Why are they calling it bold?

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Middle East
2:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Egypt's Draft Constitution Divides Nation

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:12 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, who took power last June, is facing a rebellion against his rule. It all started with a set of controversial decrees by the president that put him above the law until a constitution is in place. That move has polarized the country. Judges are on strike and critics say the president is pushing through an illegitimate constitution.

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Middle East
7:49 am
Wed November 21, 2012

In Cairo, Efforts To Reach Mideast Cease-Fire

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's turn now to the urgent diplomatic efforts underway. Secretary of State Clinton is now in Cairo, meeting with Egyptian leaders in efforts to reach a ceasefire. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us from Cairo to discuss the latest.

Good morning.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So what do you know about what's happening on the diplomatic front today there in Cairo?

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Middle East
3:49 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Clinton Joins Diplomatic Push To End Gaza Violence

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:56 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the Middle East to push for an end to the fighting between Israel and Hamas. She has met separately with Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders. Cairo is her final destination, where she'll be meeting with Egypt's president who stands at the center of negotiations.

Middle East
3:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Push For Diplomatic Solution In Gaza Ramps Up

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Even as talk grows louder about a possible truce, intense air assaults went back and forth over the Israeli and Gaza border today. More Palestinians were killed overnight, pushing the death toll for days of fighting to over 100 for Palestinians and three Israelis.

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Economy
3:50 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Obama Pledges To Complete Economic Recovery

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The economy has been a central issue in this presidential election, but it has been improving little by little. In the end, President Obama handily rolled to reelection, pledging, last night, to complete the country's recovery. For more, we turn to economic correspondent John Ydstie. Good morning.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, the weak economy was what Republicans hoped would unseat the president and that did not happen. What are the reasons for that?

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Election 2012
5:46 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Sandy Likely To Affect New York Voter Turnout

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The triumph in some parts of the country this morning is that people are able to vote at all. Just over a week after Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore, people are voting today in New Jersey.

And in New York City, NPR's Robert Smith is in the Borough of Queens, part of New York City. He's on the line. Robert, what have you seen today?

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Election 2012
3:57 am
Tue November 6, 2012

House Seats Up For Grabs, Third Of Senate Seats

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The race for president has been at the heart of this election season. Let's turn now to the intense and expensive battle going on for control of the House and the Senate.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The next Congress will be losing some famous names, like Barney Frank, Joe Lieberman and Ron Paul - all retiring. Today, one-third of the Senate and all 435 seats in the House are up for grabs.

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Election 2012
2:49 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Disputes Over Early voting Ignite In Florida

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The presidential election is still a day away and already disputes have broken out in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote.

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