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.

Over the years, Montagne has done thousands of interviews on a wide range of topics: Kurt Vonnegut on how he transformed surviving the WWII firebombing of Dresden into the novel Slaughterhouse Five; National Guardsmen on how they handle the holidays in Iraq; a Hollywood historian on how the famous hillside sign came to be; Toni Morrison on the dreams and memories she turned into novels; and Bud Montagne, Renee's father, remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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 five times, traveling throughout the country and interviewing farmers and mullahs, women and poll workers, the president and an infamous warlord. She spent a month during the summer of 2009 reporting on the Afghanistan politics and election. She has produced three series: 2002's "Recreating Afghanistan"; 2004's "Afghanistan Votes"; and 2006's "The War: Five Years On."

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, the daughter of a Marine Corps family, was born in California and spent much of her childhood in Hawaii and Arizona. She 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.

Pages

2:00am

Thu October 20, 2011
Europe

European Leaders Try To Keep Debt Crisis From Spreading

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 9:50 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

More demonstrations are being staged today in Greece as its parliament votes on another round of stinging austerity measures. Yesterday's protests ended in vicious street battles between police and protesters. Meanwhile, European leaders seem deadlocked on plans to stop the Greek debt crisis from spilling into the rest of the eurozone. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Athens.

And, Sylvia, how are people reacting to yesterday's turmoil and clashes over these austerity measures?

Read more

2:00am

Tue October 18, 2011
Middle East

Israeli Freed In Exchange For Palestinian Prisoners

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A dramatic prisoner swap is underway now, between Israel and the Palestinians. After five years in captivity, Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, is free. He is in Israel, and we'll go there in a moment.

First, to the West Bank and the city of Ramallah. That's where NPR's Peter Kenyon is, surrounded by a jubilant crowd of Palestinians.

Good morning, Peter.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

Read more

2:00am

Mon October 17, 2011
Sports

Indy Champ Wheldon Dies In Las Vegas Speedway Crash

Originally published on Mon October 17, 2011 3:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The world of IndyCar racing has lost one of its stars. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed yesterday during an IndyCar race in Las Vegas. Wheldon was trailing a pack of cars when he was unable to avoid a massive pile-up.

(SOUNDBITE OF BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, here we go. (Unintelligible) a huge crash. Up at turn number two. Oh, multiple cars involved.

Read more

7:29am

Tue October 11, 2011
Race

Latinos On TV: Laughing At Culture, Laughing With It

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: With us to listen in on how Spanish has been used on television is NPR's Felix Contreras, producer for NPR's Arts Desk.

And, Felix, when did U.S. audiences start to hear Spanish on the airwaves?

FELIX CONTRERAS: You know, pretty much since the earliest days of the medium. And the most prominent example of this is the show that set viewing records in the 1950s and also featured a character with a thick accent who struggled with English.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "I LOVE LUCY")

Read more

4:09am

Tue October 11, 2011
National Security

Underwear Bomber Trial To Begin In Detroit

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Today, opening statements are scheduled for a man who became instantly famous in the Christmas season in 2009. Omar Farouk Abdulmutallub is a young Nigerian. He's accused of attempting to bring down an airliner bound for Detroit with explosives in his underwear.

Read more

Pages