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'Morning Edition' Says Goodbye To Renee Montagne

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We have a little news this morning. As many people have heard, it is Renee Montagne's final day hosting MORNING EDITION, this program. She's been in the chair, as we say, for 12 years.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now she becomes a special correspondent, writing features, investigative stories, occasionally hosting on weekend mornings. And I'm so happy the three of us are in the studio together here in Washington. Renee, what - I mean, is there - is there a way to capture what you've - what you've taken away from these 12 years?

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

I've - but in a few seconds, no. But let me...

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: ...Let me take a stab at it. I mean, let's - I may to have to start - have to start with the talent on MORNING EDITION, which is astonishing, a continuing delight. And I just want to say, if - if listeners don't know, every story from the field, all the studio interviews you hear, those - those are the products of many hands.

INSKEEP: Producers, editors.

MONTAGNE: Intimate collaborations with producers, editors...

GREENE: Yeah.

MONTAGNE: ...Sometimes contentious even, but all of it coming - creating the product that - creating the wonderful things you hear on this air. I just want to say though, I will continue to do that to some great extent. I'm still on the show actually. But hosting MORNING EDITION, sitting here in the host chair - for 12 years, I've hosted just about every show on this network, dating back to All Things Considered.

This was something so special, and a lot of it was the special relationship that I feel I have with all of you out there, the listeners, asking, I hope, questions you want to hear, taking you places you want to go, and most of all, continuing a conversation with - you know, you want to say to the nation. That's a big thought. But - but with people that when I meet, it's like - when people meet me, they often say, oh, you know, you don't look like I thought you would actually.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: I actually have the experience of meeting people and saying, you looked exactly like I thought you would.

GREENE: Well, you - you - I - just on a personal note, I've learned so much from you. You are such a graceful storyteller, an artful writer, and I just value you as a colleague and as a friend so, so much.

INSKEEP: And I took some notes here. You've been through four elections, two wars, a financial crisis, recession. People have woken up to a lot of news that they liked and did not like, but they knew when they heard your voice that the world was going to be OK. And I've heard that from people in recent days. Thank you, and thank you for being there for me all this time as well, Renee. Why don't you say it one more time?

MONTAGNE: Aw, it's NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.