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Cramer Turns Bullish on This Old Media Stock

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 | 6:16 PM ET
Time to Buy New York Times?
The New York Times has figured out how to make consumers pay for web content, explains Mad Money host Jim Cramer. It's time turn positive on the stock.

"Get ready, because I'm about to say something I thought I'd never be able to say in good conscience again," said Jim Cramer.

"It's time to buy The New York Times Company (TICKER:NYT).

Yes, you read that right. Cramer is bullish on a newspaper stock!


Of course the Mad Money host is well aware that the print business faces challenges – serious challenges. And that's exactly why he thinks the New York Times is attractive.

Huh?

"Earlier this week, the company announced that they plan to sell the Boston Globe in order to focus on their core business," he said.

And contrary to what you might think- the core business at the New York Times isn't just publishing newspapers.

"Their business is content," said Cramer. And few companies are better at creating content that people want to pay for – than the New York Times.

Largely the catalyst for the Times as well as the rest of the industry is the Internet. The online world is threatening to make newspapers as relevant as the Edsel. However, here's where the Times diverges from so many of its rivals.

Photographer | Collection | Getty Images

While most newspapers reined in spending in an attempt to get leaner and meaner the Times did just the opposite.

"They spent and spent while everyone else in the industry pulled back," Cramer explained. As a result the company was able to remain committed to its motto, that is bring the audience 'all the news that's fit to print.'

"The Times kept its mission intact and it now delivers what is widely considered the best nationwide news, political and cultural," said Cramer.

And as a result the Times has been able to make money from the Internet when rivals couldn't

Having such desirable content allowed "The New York Times to put up an online pay-wall back in 2011," Cramer explained. "Although they give you ten free articles a month," the rest you have to pay for.

And people are willing to pay.

"At the end of the fourth quarter, we know that the Times had 640,000 paid digital subscribers, up 13% from the previous quarter."

To make circumstances all the more appealing, Cramer said a major shift is underway involving the way in which the Times makes its money.

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"For the first time in its history, The Times is making more money from people paying for circulation than it is from advertising. That's a huge shift."

And the Mad Money host sees plenty of opportunity ahead.

"The Times hasn't even figured out yet that they could charge a fortune for online real estate ads, because so much real estate in the best market in the world, New York, is actually sold through them."

"I also think the price might be far more inelastic than we thought, meaning I don't know a soul who wouldn't pay more for the darned thing rather than lose it. The digital edition is a total bargain over the hard copy," Cramer added.

All told, Cramer sees every reason to buy

"This company finally figured out a way to make money off of its content on the Internet. That's the great leap forward," he said. "Print might be a dying medium, but on the Web, content is king, and The New York Times has figured it out."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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