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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Asia
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why raise the alert level?

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NPR Story
6:37 am
Wed August 14, 2013

UPS Plane Crashes Near Birmingham, Ala.; 2 Dead

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:16 am

A UPS cargo plane crashed near the airport in Birmingham, Ala., Wednesday morning. The pilot and co-pilot were both killed.

Business
3:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

DOJ Files Civil Charges Against Bank Of America

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Justice Department is bringing civil charges against one of the nation's largest banks. The government alleges that Bank of America made false statements about the quality of home loans it sold off to investors, $850 million worth of loads. The Justice Department move is the latest in a series of cases being brought against financial firms.

NPR's Chris Arnold has been following all of this and joins us now. Good morning.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Sports
3:43 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Major League Baseball Works To Win Fans' Trust

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

So now the challenge for Major League Baseball: Winning back the trust of fans. The suspensions themselves were a start but there is a wrinkle because, as we've heard, Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game ban. It means the narrative in baseball will continue to be about suspicions rather than the play on the field.

Joining us now to talk about the league and its efforts is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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Sports
3:52 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A-Rod Said To Be Facing Long Suspension From Baseball

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Major League Baseball appears set to hand down suspensions to several players implicated in performance enhancing drug use. New York Yankees All-Star Alex Rodriguez is the biggest name by far on that list and he also faces the longest suspension. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now for an update. Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

MONTAGNE: So what length of penalty does Alex Rodriguez face?

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Analysis
3:10 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Washington Stresses Seriousness Of Terrorist Threat

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Economy
8:28 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Market Mood Improves After Bernanke Remarks

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ben Bernanke's latest comments are at the top of NPR's business news.

Stock and bond markets reacted positively to the Federal Reserve chairman's latest remarks on the economy this morning. Ben Bernanke is on Capitol Hill delivering the Fed's twice-yearly update on the economy and Fed policy before the House Financial Services Committee. NPR's John Ydstie joins us now to talk about it. And John, what was it that Bernanke said that impressed the market?

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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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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.

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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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
3:22 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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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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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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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
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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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
2:46 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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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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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?

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
4:28 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
4:29 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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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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