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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World
4:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Protests Continue Against Anti-Islam Film

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:51 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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Africa
9:12 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Attack In Libya Threatens To Upset U.S. Ties

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Africa
7:03 am
Wed September 12, 2012

U.S. Condemns Killing Of Ambassador, Staff In Libya

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We come to you this morning with grim news. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans have been killed when protesters stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The protests were sparked yesterday by an American-made video circulating on the Web that ridicules Islam and the prophet Muhammad.

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Africa
10:06 am
Fri August 17, 2012

South African Police Accused Of Massacring Miners

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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World
3:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador To Decide On Assange Asylum Request

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In the latest twist to the WikiLeaks story, its founder Julian Assange has been granted political asylum by the South American nation of Ecuador. Ecuador's foreign minister made the announcement this morning, speaking through a translator.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Analysis
3:23 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Ryan Pick Was A Bold Choice For Romney Campaign

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For more on this big weekend in politics, we turn to Cokie Roberts for some analysis. Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: So we just heard in Ari's piece the excitement Paul Ryan is generating among the Republican faithful. Is that partly why Mitt Romney chose him as his running mate, to generate some of the kind of enthusiasm that has been missing from his own campaign?

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Sports
7:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Olympic Preview: Decathlon Medals To Be Awarded

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 7:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

At the London Summer Olympics, it's one star-studded 200-meter race down and one to go - today. American Allyson Felix won the women's 200 last night and was part of a U.S. track and field medal-winning binge. The Americans took seven medals at Olympic Stadium, helping push the Americans past arch-medal rival China in the overall race.

Not that anyone's counting, right, Tom Goldman?

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Sports
3:50 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Decathlon, Beach Volleyball In Olympic Spotlight

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Olympic Games in London have already brought a lot of drama and made some history, as well. And today and tomorrow could bring more memorable moments.

NPR's Howard Berkes is covering his eighth Olympics and he joins us now to tell us about what we can look forward to. Good morning.

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: I see the decathlon is on your list of events to pay attention to today. Outside of the Olympics, of course, most of us don't pay a lot of attention to that particular sport. Why today?

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Election 2012
6:45 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Controversy Followed Romney On Overseas Trip

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 1:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, wrapped up a week-long foreign trip today, with a speech in Warsaw, Poland. His trip overseas, which began in London and then on to Jerusalem, was designed to bolster Romney's foreign policy credentials, but instead it's been riddled with gaffs and controversy.

Joining us now from Warsaw, is NPR's Eric Westervelt. Good morning.

ERIC WESTERVELT, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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NPR Story
6:19 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Punk Band's Case Tests Putin's Tolerance For Dissent

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 6:52 am

Three women charged with blasphemy went on trial Monday in Russia in a case that's being seen as a major test of President Vladimir Putin's tolerance for dissent. The women are members of the band Pussy Riot. They were arrested after staging a punk rock protest at the altar of a Moscow cathedral.

Around the Nation
10:56 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Police In Aurora Hold Suspect, Interview Witnesses

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Eight hours ago, a gunman burst into a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, tossed in a can of tear gas, and then opened fire. Those in the audience had lined up hours in advance to get seats for the world premier of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Many were dressed festively, in costume, but the movie and the evening ended in horror.

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Around the Nation
10:17 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Obama: Keep Aurora In Your Hearts And Thoughts

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

I'm sorry to interrupt that conversation, but we have developments to bring you, here, involving the Colorado shooting last night in Aurora, Colorado. President Obama's commenting on the tragedy. Let's listen for a moment.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved. They were mothers and fathers, they were husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.

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Around the Nation
8:45 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Gunman Picks Off Theatergoers Trying To Escape

Authorities in Aurora, Colo., say a gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater. Police are searching the suspects apartment.

Around the Nation
7:48 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Choas Reigns During Colo. Theater Shooting

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Eight hours ago, a gunman burst into a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, tossed in a can of tear gas, and then opened fire. Those in the audience had lined up hours in advance to get seats for the world premier of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Many were dressed festively, in costume, but the movie and the evening ended in horror.

Read more
Middle East
3:39 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Syrian Fighting Spreads Across Damascus

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:41 pm

A gunman opened fire early Friday at a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killing at least 12 people and leaving dozens more injured, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. Steve Inskeep talks to Chayyiel Jackson about the shooting.

Analysis
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama will be in the swing state of Ohio again today. He'll be holding his first big town hall meeting of the campaign in Cincinnati. And the president will likely continue his campaign attack against Mitt Romney's record of what Democrats characterize as sending jobs overseas while he was the head of Bain Capital. Over the weekend, the president said he would not apologize for those attacks.

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Middle East
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Syrian Violence Escalates Into Civil War

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Across the border in Syrian, reports of clashes between the army and rebels overnight in a neighborhood in Damascus. It was some of the heaviest fighting so far in the capital, according to residents and activists who say the army for the first time bombarded one neighborhood with mortars.

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Business
6:48 am
Fri July 13, 2012

JPMorgan: Trading Loss Grows To $4.4 Billion

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, this morning released its second quarter results. It's net income was $5 billion, but it turns out that loses in a failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader were much higher than what the bank originally said the loss would be. In fact, JPMorgan lost $4.4 billion last quarter on those risky trades.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that's not the full extent of the firm's damage.

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Sports
3:51 am
Mon July 2, 2012

100 Meters Runoff To Decide 3rd Place Finisher

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 6:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The 100 meters is the fastest running event in Olympic track and field. But for the last nine days, the women's 100 at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in Eugene, Oregon has been stalled by a much talked about tie. Today, finally, a resolution. Sprinters Alyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will race in a run-off to break their tie for third place in the 100 they first ran two Saturday's ago. First one to cross the finish line today makes the U.S. women's 100 team. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us to talk about this.

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Africa
4:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Egypt's Military Has More Power Than Civilian President

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer, in for Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In Egypt, a small victory for civil rights: A court there suspended a decree that allowed the military to arrest civilians. Other moves to amass power by the ruling military council, including dissolving Egypt's elected parliament, are still in effect.

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Sports
6:01 am
Wed June 20, 2012

NBA Finals: Miami Takes 3-1 Lead Over Oklahoma City

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For the Miami Heat, it's three down, one to go. Last night in Miami, the Heat pulled within one win of an NBA championship, with 104 to 98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. That gives Miami a 3-to-1 lead in the series and a comforting statistic for Heat fans to think about until tomorrow night's game 5. No team in NBA history has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now to talk about it.

Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi.

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Africa
5:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Battle For Power Coming To A Head In Egypt

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Egypt's transition to democracy has taken a blow, one so serious that opposition forces are calling it a coup. The country's Supreme Constitutional Court yesterday issued two rulings. One dissolved Egypt's first freely elected parliament, now filled mostly with Islamists. The other threw out a law that forbade members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's regime from running for high office.

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Middle East
5:36 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Yemen Works To Reclaim Al-Qaida's Territory

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 6:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Economy
10:58 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Obama Urges Congress To Take Action On Economy

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One thing about the economic pain Spain, and other EU countries, are now experiencing - it's offering something of a break to President Obama in this campaign season, where he's trying to fend off Republican attacks on his handling of the sluggish American economy. In a White House press conference this morning, the president was able to point to Europe's financial woes as a drag on the economy here in the U.S.

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Africa
5:17 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Egyptians Vote In 2nd Day Of Presidential Election

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The first free presidential election in Egypt is in its second day. Thirteen candidates are vying to replace Hosni Mubarak in what many there say is a wide-open race. The last election in 2005 saw Mubarak winning 87 percent of the vote against another candidate, a candidate he later threw in jail. Voter turnout yesterday was so strong, election officials kept polling stations open across Egypt for an additional hour.

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Movies
3:41 am
Wed May 23, 2012

65th Annual Cannes Film Festival Opens In France

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 4:09 am

The movie being talked about the most at this year's Cannes Film Festival in the south of France is Michael Haneke's Amour. It's the 65th anniversary of the festival.

Sports
4:36 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Thunder Force L.A. Lakers Out Of NBA Playoffs

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:38 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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Afghanistan
3:22 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Afghan Operation Update

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 6:02 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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NPR Story
5:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Afghans Fear Their Country Will Fall Back Into War

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 9:31 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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Afghanistan
6:03 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Taliban Claims Responsibility For Kabul Attack

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

News is slowly spreading across Afghanistan of President Obama's midnight visit to Kabul. And Afghans woke up this morning to a darker kind of news as well - that car bomb attack on a foreign aid compound little more than a mile from where the two presidents met hours earlier. NPR Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence joins me here in Kabul.

And let's start with this morning's attack. Tell us what you know about it at this point in time.

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