Times are tough in the newspaper business, so tough in fact that writers like Kevin Provencher -- a 50-year-old sports reporter for Manchester Union-Leader in New Hampshire -- are turning to prostitution to make ends meet. This sports reporter turned high-end pimp told a Massachusetts court last Friday that he had started the ring as a "side business" after the paper reduced his salary.
Twenty-three years of one business and then an immediate switch to prostitution seems like a reasonable leap, right? This guy had won awards, too! He is a four-time winner of the New Hampshire Sportswriter of the Year award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Think he turned to pimping/prostitution a little fast? Jeesh. What? McDonald's wasn't hiring a night manager?
Now, instead of deadlines and baseball games, Provencher will be serving hard time. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison and fined $5,000 on the prostitution charges and also for intimidating one of his hookers from testifying against him.
This guy is the Pat Benatar of pimps. Did you ever see that video for "Love Is a Battlefield" where the '80s rocker turns to prostitution like 5 seconds after leaving her middle class home in perfect suburbia after a mild fight with her dad? Yeah. This guy is kind of like that.
Plus, he was kind of a serious jerk of a pimp. There were no adorable dance-offs in Provencher's posse. His overhead was costly and he made his women pay dearly. In fact, the judge handling the case said the victimization of young women he lured into prostitution required he spend time behind bars.
He recruited young women into selling their bodies and arranged for them to meet men in hotel rooms. He took HALF of their earnings and the entire cost of the hotel room. And all this was for what, pray tell? Lovely young women were unable to procure clients of their own? They needed an aging journalist to bring clients to them?
The women earned $240 per hour or $150 per half-hour and would pay Provencher in cash or by depositing the money in his bank account in 2008 and 2009. Naturally, most of his business was conducted on Craigslist (where else?).
Why this guy would throw away a perfectly good career, something he clearly did well, on something so sleazy is beyond me, but there we have it. I guess Kevin Provencher proves it may be hard out there for a pimp, but it's even harder for a sports reporter.
Do you understand this story at all?
Image via Stuck in Customs/Flickr