As Vice President for Distribution, Pete Loewenstein oversees the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS), the backbone of all public radio distribution. Each year, nearly 400,000 hours of news, music, and specialized audience programming are distributed to more than 800 public radio stations throughout the United States via PRSS, which was originally built in 1979 with funds provided by Congress through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Loewenstein is responsible for all activities associated with the planning, operation, and management of this mission-critical division.
Loewenstein has served as Vice President for Distribution since 1985, but joined NPR as a studio technician in 1971, the year NPR had its first broadcast. He has held numerous positions during his more than 30 years with the network. He was part of the project team that designed and implemented public radio's first satellite interconnection system in the 1970's and has headed the efforts for subsequent generations of the PRSS.
In the late 1980's he led public radio's interconnection system through a complete reorganization of its governance structure and completion of a business plan that yielded long-term financial security for the system. In 2004, he and his team began a major redesign of public radio's program distribution system with the development of the PRSS ContentDepot. Taking advantage of innovations in digital technology, the PRSS ContentDepot streamlines how public radio stations and producers select, send, acquire, and automate programming. The new system launched in 2006 and enables enhanced delivery of program-related metadata and emergency communications.
In recognition of his work in these areas, Loewenstein was awarded NPR the prestigious Edward E. Elson Award in 1991. In 2002, he received the Edward R. Murrow Award from the CPB recognizing an "individual whose work has fostered the growth, quality, and image of public radio."