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
5:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Voters Cast Ballots In Iran's Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:56 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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NPR Story
4:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate Inched Up In May

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 9:37 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
5:16 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Attackers Hack To Death Man On London Street

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:54 pm

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
4:49 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Younger Generation Poised To Lead Afghanistan's Future

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 1:19 pm

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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Europe
9:38 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Cyprus Proposes Exempting Smaller Deposits From Tax

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 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
4:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

EU Bailout Tax Sparks Bank Run In Cyprus

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Latin America
4:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Chavez's Death Will Have Ramifications For Cuba

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The death of Hugo Chavez could mean as much for Cuba as it will for Venezuela. As we just heard, Chavez looked to Fidel Castro for inspiration, and Castro has supplied Venezuela with thousands of Cuban doctors, health workers and security specialists. In return, Chavez sent a massive amount of Venezuelan oil to Cuba at cut-rate prices, and thus helped keep the Cuban economy afloat during years of crisis.

Joining us now is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.

TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Africa
5:01 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Ethnic Violence Haunts Kenya's Presidential Election

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Kenya votes for a new president today for the first time in five years. It's an important election, in part because the country is still haunted by the ethnic violence that bloodied the last presidential election in 2007. More than 1,200 people were killed and the violence only ended after the international community stepped in. NPR's Gregory Warner is out visiting polling stations and talking to people in Nairobi. He joins us to talk about the election. Good morning, Greg.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Religion
12:04 pm
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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Politics
6:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Politics In The News

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 7:37 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?

NPR Story
5:19 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Politics In the News

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:09 pm

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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NPR Story
4:50 am
Fri January 25, 2013

'Fruitvale' Stands Out At Sundance

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Snow, superstars, and cinema. That combination can mean only one thing at this time of year: The Sundance Film Festival. Our movie reviewer, Kenneth Turan, is on the scene in Park City, Utah, as he is every year, to tell us about some of the movies at Sundance. Good morning.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Let's start with dramas. What really stands out for you, Ken?

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U.S.
10:55 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
7:45 am
Mon January 21, 2013

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

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:01 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
7:18 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Crowds Begin Converging On Washington, D.C.

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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National Security
7:56 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Obama To Pick New Pentagon, CIA Leaders

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 9:01 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
5:59 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:56 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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Business
5:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:27 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
4:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Egypt's Draft Constitution Divides Nation

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 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.

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
9:49 am
Wed November 21, 2012

In Cairo, Efforts To Reach Mideast Cease-Fire

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 9:55 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
6:34 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Push For Diplomatic Solution In Gaza Ramps Up

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 9:51 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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Middle East
5:43 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Syrian Opposition Groups Try To Reinvigorate Mission

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Opposition groups working to bring down the regime in Syria are meeting in Doha, Qatar in a furious bid to reorganize and reinvigorate themselves. The aim is to form a legitimate government in exile that would be recognized by the international community. This new effort to bring together the Syrian opposition is strongly backed by the U.S. NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Doha and joins us to talk about it.

And let's start by you telling us exactly who is there.

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Election 2012
7:46 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Sandy Likely To Affect New York Voter Turnout

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

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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National Security
4:37 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Bangladeshi Man Arrested In N.Y. Bomb Plot

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 12:11 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A young Bangladeshi man has been charged with conspiring to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly commented on the arrest at a press conference last night.

RAYMOND KELLY: This individual came here for the purpose of doing a terrorist act.

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NPR Story
4:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Umpire Calls Are A Problem In Baseball's Post Play

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the baseball playoffs tonight, the Detroit Tigers have a chance to put the reeling New York Yankees on the brink of elimination. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have slowed the St. Louis Cardinals who'd been playing with the kind of magic touch that carried them to last year's World Series title. Last night in San Francisco, the Giants beat St. Louis 7-1 to even their National League Championship Series at one game each. NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us to talk more baseball.

Good morning.

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Business
4:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

2 Americans Win Nobel Economics Prize

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Two Americans have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Economics for work that has to do with matching in business, medicine and marriage. The two, whose work turned out to be a good match, are Alvin Roth of Harvard and Lloyd Shapely of the University of California, Los Angeles. They will share the $1.2 million prize.

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Books
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Nobel Prize For Literature Announced Thursday

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:22 am

Mo Yan was one of three writers favored to win. He is perhaps best known in the West as the author of Red Sorghum, which was made into a film. He is only the second Chinese writer to win the Nobel — the other is poet Gao Xingjian, who won in 2000.

Law
1:08 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Judge Postpones Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A judge in Pennsylvania has blocked a key part of that state's new voter ID law, a law that's caused controversy. Now, come Election Day, voters showing up at the polls can still be asked to show a government-issued photo ID, but they will not be prevented from voting if they don't have one. NPR's Pam Fessler has been covering the story and she joins us now. Good morning.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So, remind us what this Pennsylvania law is - you know, why it's been making national news.

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Afghanistan
5:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Deadly Incidents Take A Toll In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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World
5:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Protests Continue Against Anti-Islam Film

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We begin this morning in the Middle East. The violent protests outside U.S. diplomatic missions in the region - sparked by a roughly made film insulting Muhammad - have ebbed.

INSKEEP: There is still plenty of tension, and in Kabul today, police held back more than 1,000 people who took to the streets throwing rocks at the police and chanting anti-American slogans.

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