NWPB and KUOW’s ‘Ghost Herd’ podcast wins regional Murrow award

The sun sets on Friday, June 17, 2022, at the Freedom Rodeo in Basin City.
The sun sets on Friday, June 17, 2022, at the Freedom Rodeo in Basin City. (Credit: Megan Farmer / KUOW)


May 13, 2024

Northwest Public Broadcasting and KUOW have won a 2024 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Podcast for the “Ghost Herd” docuseries. The regional Edward R. Murrow Awards honor outstanding achievement in broadcast and digital journalism from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. All winners are considered for national Edward R. Murrow Awards. Those will be announced in August.

“Investigative reporting at its finest is on display in this podcast. “Ghost Herd” is an experience. The way the team breaks down a complicated fraud case and contextualizes its local and global impacts, really brings the piece to life,” said NWPB’s multimedia news director Tracci Dial. “Anna’s hard work was well-received with nearly a million downloads in its first year. There is no question this award is well-deserved for her and the whole ‘Ghost Herd’ team.”

Ghost Herd tells the story of Cody Easterday, the man at the center of one of the largest cattle swindles in U.S. history. Easterday invented a “ghost herd” of 265,000 cattle that only existed on paper … and swindled companies including a meat-packing giant to the tune of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. “Ghost Herd” is a story of family and fraud, but also a story about the value of dirt and the shifting powers in the American West.

“We are just thrilled! So many people helped make this important story resonate across the Northwest and nation,” said Anna King, “Ghost Herd”s’ creator. “From our cultural editor helping us get all the Native American history and context just right, to cowpunch-songwriter James Dean Kindle who composed our theme song – this was deft teamwork on a snap deadline.”

Northwest Public Broadcasting tells the stories that matter, with a special focus on rural journalism, made possible from its member donors.

“It’s because of our generous supporters that we can carry out this in-depth, on-the-ground journalism and dynamic storytelling,” said NWPB general manager Cara Williams Fry. “The world needs to hear from diverse, rural, Northwest voices – we do that important work. It’s an honor to be recognized for that service to our community with a 2024 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award.”

(Credit: Photo by Matt Martin / KUOW)

(Credit: Matt Martin / KUOW)

‘Ghost Herd’ team:

Host & Creator: Anna King

Producer: Matt Martin

Editor: Jim Gates

Supervising Producer: Brendan Sweeney

Project Manager: Whitney Henry-Lester

Cultural Edit: Jiselle Halfmoon

Fact-checking: Lauren Vespoli

Logo Design: Heather Willoughby

Photography: Megan Farmer

Music: James Dean Kindle, Roger Conley, Andy Steel and Adam Lange, Addison Schulberg

Web Design: Michaela Gianotti Boyle

Marketing: Michaela Gianotti Boyle, Hans Twite, Joleen Ann Laue, Kaitlyn Nicholas