03/28/2008 02:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Target: NYT

If the Gray Lady didn't have enough problems battling industrywide woes, now she has Rupert Murdoch to worry about.

The media billionaire has made no secret of his desire to take aim at the New York Times once his News Corp. acquires Dow Jones & Co. and its flagship Wall Street Journal in a $5-billion deal expected to close this fall.

Murdoch said during an earnings conference call last week that he wanted the financial newspaper to have "more coverage of national, international and nonbusiness news . . . all to better compete with the New York Times and other national newspapers."

In private, Murdoch has been more blunt.

"Rupert thinks the Times is vulnerable," a longtime senior executive said. "He's going to go after them."

Like other newspapers across the country, the Times has been tightening its belt and has seen its stock price languish as readers and advertisers migrate to the Web. Nonetheless, it has fared better than other publications, retaining much of its circulation and advertising by remaining the essential newspaper of the East Coast elite.

So where does Murdoch believe the Times is vulnerable?

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