I'm of two minds about New York Times (NYSE:NYT). As an erstwhile journalist, I'm amazed by the magnitude of the company's steady revenue declines. As an investor -- and I've taken this up with Fools in the past -- I'm flabbergasted that this seemingly terminal entity still gets a forward P/E about twice that of robust offshore drillers Transocean (NYSE:RIG) and Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO).

But is Times -- and its vaunted Gray Lady -- really terminal? The (non-valuation) numbers would suggest that it is. The company's July ad sales fell by 16%. Even more astoundingly, its Boston Globe property managed to shrink its own ad revenue by a whopping 25%. It doesn't take a genius to calculate that no business can afford to sustain such damage for long.

My father used to frequently trot out the expression "A [small-f] foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." That must say something about Times, whose ad revenue has fallen by double-digit percentages every single month this year.

And in a curious bit of advice, The Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" penman Paul Glader is suggesting that it might be time for Times to sell the Globe. Glader contends that Bostonian and former General Electric (NYSE:GE) CEO Jack Welch, who's eyed the paper in the past, might have an interest.

That advice comes at precisely as Sam Zell, who took Tribune private some months ago, is bemoaning his inability to stem his ad-revenue hemorrhage. In that light, I suspect the man known as "Neutron Jack" might hestitate to acquire his own hometown paper.

It turns out that Times' 16% slide was comparatively solid. The country's two biggest publishers, Gannett (NYSE GCI) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), suffered ad revenue declines of 17% and 19%, respectively. Numbers like those should remind Fools that newspapers make better reading material than investment material.

Times receives by one star from Motley Fool CAPS members. Have you added your opinion?

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith is an avid newspaper reader, but doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does welcome your comments or questions. The Fool has a disclosure policy that's definitely fit to print.