KCBX Central Coast Public Radio is presenting a candid in‐ person discussion with two prominent NPR personalities: Renée Montagne, special correspondent and former host of NPR’s news program Morning Edition; and Kelly McEvers, host of NPR’s Embedded podcast and previous host of NPR’s news program, All Things Considered. The event will take place on August 24th, 2019, at 7:30 PM in a casual setting at the Cuesta College Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC). Both journalists have worked for NPR in varying rolls and will share with the audience their experiences reporting from the field and in the studio, as well as reporting in the current political climate.
According to KCBX President and General Manager, Frank Lanzone, “I’m excited that Central Coast residents will hear from two of the most accomplished journalists and news anchors in the nation for a fresh perspective about reporting the news.”
Funds raised from this event go to support NPR member station KCBX Central Coast Public Radio, which reaches FM listeners from Salinas to Santa Barbara and a growing digital audience around the world.
Renée Montagne, one of the best‐known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.
Montagne’s most recent assignment was a yearlong collaboration with ProPublica reporter Nina Martin, investigating the alarming rate of maternal mortality in the U.S., as compared to other developed countries. The series, called “Lost Mothers,” was recognized with more than a dozen awards in American journalism, including a Peabody Award, a George Polk Award, and Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Journalism. The series was also named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.
From 2004 to 2016, Montagne co‐hosted NPR’s Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. Her first experience as host of an NPR newsmagazine came in 1987, when she, along with Robert Siegel, were named the new hosts of All Things Considered.
After leaving All Things Considered, Montagne traveled to South Africa in early 1990, arriving to report from there on the day Nelson Mandela emerged from 27 years in prison. In 1994, she and a small team of NPR reporters were awarded an Alfred I. duPont‐Columbia University Silver Baton for their coverage of South Africa’s historic elections that led to Mandela becoming that country’s first black president.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Montagne has made 10 extended reporting trips to Afghanistan. She has traveled to every major city, from Kabul to Kandahar, to peaceful villages, and to places where conflict raged. She has profiled Afghanistan’s presidents and power brokers, but focused on the stories of Afghans at the heart of that complex country: school girls, farmers, mullahs, poll workers, midwives, and warlords. Her coverage has been honored by the Overseas Press Club and, for stories on Afghan women in particular, by the Gracie Awards.
One of her most cherished honors dates to her days as a freelance reporter in the 1980s, when Montagne and her collaborator, writer Thulani Davis, were awarded “First Place in Radio” by the National Association of Black Journalists for their series “Fanfare for the Warriors.” It told the story of African‐American musicians in the military bands from WWI to Vietnam.
Montagne began her career in radio pretty much by accident, when she joined a band of friends, mostly poets and
musicians, who were creating their own shows at a new, scrappy little San Francisco community station called KPOO. Her show was called Women’s Voices.
Montagne graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley. Her career includes teaching broadcast writing at New York University’s Graduate Department of Journalism (now the Carter Institute).
Kelly McEvers is a two‐time Peabody Award‐winning journalist and former host of NPR’s flagship newsmagazine, All Things Considered, from 2015 to 2018. She spent much of her career as an international correspondent, reporting from Asia, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East. She is the creator and host of the acclaimed Embedded podcast, a documentary show from NPR that goes to hard places to make sense of the news. She began her career as a newspaper reporter in Chicago.
McEvers ran NPR’s Beirut bureau prior to 2013, where she earned a George Foster Peabody award, an Alfred I. DuPont‐Columbia award, a Gracie award, and an Overseas Press Club mention for her 2012 coverage of the Syrian conflict. She recently made a radio documentary about being a war correspondent with renowned radio producer Jay Allison of Transom.org.
In 2011, she traveled undercover to follow Arab uprisings in places where brutal crackdowns followed the early euphoria of protests. She has been tear‐gassed in Bahrain; she has spent a night in a tent city with a Yemeni woman who would later share the Nobel Peace Prize; and she spent weeks inside Syria with anti‐government rebels known as the Free Syrian Army.
In Iraq, she covered the final withdrawal of U.S. troops and the political chaos that gripped the country afterward. Before arriving in Iraq in 2010, McEvers was one of the first Western correspondents to be based full‐time, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
KCBX Central Coast Public Radio
KCBX is a non‐commercial public radio station that serves an average weekly audience of over 40,000 listeners in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and south Monterey Counties. Eighty‐eight percent of the financial support for the station comes from individual listener/subscribers, local corporate underwriters and proceeds from the Live Oak Music Festival. KCBX broadcasts local and national information programming, NPR shows, and an eclectic music format with genres ranging from jazz and classical to Americana and world music.