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Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
Eric Poole is a reporter and columnist for the Ellwood City (Pa.) Ledger, a small newspaper nestled near the Ohio state line in the heart of Steelers Country. He has a wife, a son and a daughter (so there will be some daddy stuff on this blog). A former steelworker and retired rugby player, Poole has a wide range of interests, which was reflected in the 2008 Pennsylvania Newspaper Association awards, when Poole won first-prize honors for best columns and best special project. His upcoming book, "Company of Heroes," due out March 17, 2015, from Osprey Publishing, tells the story of Vietnam War hero Leslie Sabo and his comrades. Sabo was awarded the Medal of Honor May 16, 2012, in a White House ceremony.

Friday, July 31, 2009

One man's idea to save newspapers

Apparently, a sportswriter for New Hampshire's largest newspaper, the Union-Leader, has found a unique way of supplementing his income in these hard times for the print media.

Prosecutors said Kevin Provencher, a former New Hampshire sportswriter of the year, ran a prostitution ring, advertised on Craigslist, and screened potential clients in the United States and Canada to keep the police out of his operation.

I think this is what you call social climbing.

This is funny, and by that I mean odd, because I always thought sportswriters never got any action, much less hooked up other people.

I'm no stranger to sex scandals at the Union-Leader. One of my former co-workers wound up at that politically conservative publication as the front page editor of the Sunday issue.

On the day after a biker gathering in Manchester -- remember, this is the Sunday issue, the one that New Hampshirites read before heading off to church -- this guy put a picture of an obviously surgically-enhanced porn star, who attended the biker rally, on the front page.

But at least, in keeping with the demand of USA Today founder Al Neuharth, he got her "(breasts) above the fold."

Anyway, back to Kevin Provencher. With the state of the newspaper business, he was probably just setting up his next career.

And prosecuting him is the last thing they ought to be doing because Provencher might be on to something here that could save newspapers -- he might be the first print reporter to successfully monetize the Internet.

This could be a doable business model if every newspapers branch out into the full-service escort business.

Just think, men across the country can get both their news and next Saturday night's date at the same Web site.

"Pimp" is such an ugly word. We prefer "circulation manager."

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