Howard Stern Teams With DreamTank

Gretchen Gallen
LOS ANGELES – Wayward shock jock Howard Stern announced plans Wednesday to team up with DreamTank, an entertainment distribution network that specializes in web development, co-location, and content delivery. Under the terms of the deal, DreamTank will provide hosting and design features to the heavily trafficked HowardStern.com website.

According to Jim Holio, director of business development for DreamTank and radio personality for the Jim Holio webmaster show, the changes to HowardStern.com have already taken place through a collaborative effort with the staff at HowardStern.com, giving the site a more sophisticated look for both the listening audience and a growing online audience. DreamTank is also currently hosting the site.

"We all sat down and discussed some of the visions and ideas that could be provided given our expertise and it seemed like a synergistic relationship," Holio told XBiz. "We have not been taken on in a webmaster capacity, but we are in open communications. We would certainly be honored to do that by simply working with them to give them a better overall offering for the website and features that may be integrated at a later date."

Founded in 1996 by Mark Heninger and Tony Rennert, DreamTank has had supporting alliances over the years with CyberAge, Cybererotica, Hustler, WebQuest, Reel Profits, Penthouse, Club Magazine, and Déjà V by providing support to further their websites or product offerings. The company also provides services to the mainstream online industry.

Holio stressed that DreamTank's deal with Stern is far more than just a paycheck for the company; it's a chance to help combat some of the political chaos that is currently affecting the country in terms of the obscenity witch hunt and the desecration of First Amendment rights.

"We feel very close to the matter at hand that Howard is going through," Holio said. "This is something that we can do to have a contribution to the crusade to restore First Amendment rights."

Stern has been the number one target in the recent indecency wars that have taken the nation by storm. Under pressure from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Stern's show was taken off the air by station owner by Clear Channel Communications in six areas of the country following an interview with Rick Solomon, the ex-boyfriend of hotel heiress Paris Hilton.

The FCC has been on the indecency warpath for quite some time. Even prior to the Janet Jackson nipple-bearing incident at the 2004 Super Bowl, the agency was considering ways to ban sexually explicit words over the airwaves, and numerous efforts are afoot to make it increasingly prohibitive for on-air talent to use expressions or words that fall under the definition of "indecency."

Holio is planning a special edition of his radio show today at 4 PM to voice some of his own outrage over the government's crackdown on free speech rights. After receiving a huge response from the adult webmaster community, The Jim Holio has been on a hiatus while it retools.

"With Howard Stern, I think that we have somebody in a position who can clearly see that they can have an influence and maybe even swing the vote," said Holio. "Stern has that kind of impact on people's lives with his kind of enthusiasm for what he's trying to accomplish here, saying that we have an administration that is impinging on our First Amendment rights."