Has The New York Times Jumped the Shark?

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The fact that The New York Times is trading at a 52-week low could just as easily be ascribed to the ad recession and the rise of online competitors for classified ads as it could be to the fact that for the last few years the paper of record has weathered its fair share of black eyes. Jayson Blair. Judith Miller. MoveOn.org.

Even Jim Cramer is telling his influential TV audience to sell their New York Times shares.

This couldn’t come at a worse time. The hypercompetetive Rupert Murdoch is looking for his pound of Sulzberger flesh. Already The Times and NewsCorp appear to be engaged in what can only be properly construed as a low-intensity cyberwar. And it is only the beginning.

The New York Times — a temperamentally conservative, if not politically conservative institution — is going to have to dig deep and make internal changes. If it does not, The Wall Street Journal — an insitution philosophically synonymous with competition — will eat its lunch.