By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 09, 2002 01:20 PM

Nary a day goes by that there isn’t news about Jennifer Lopez — so today’s news asks whether there’s too much news about Jennifer Lopez.

In a lengthy feature analysis on the front page of Monday’s business section of The New York Times, that issue is examined.

“You can hardly pass a billboard in New York City without seeing her face plastered on advertisements for her new movie, ‘Maid In Manhattan,'” reports the paper. “Last Friday, she could be seen on ‘The Today Show,’ bellowing out three singles from her new album, ‘This Is Me . . . Then.’ Entire newsstands seem to be devoted to the sole theme of ‘What is Jennifer Doing This Very Minute?'”

Nor does The Times neglect the fact that J.Lo’s engagement to Ben Affleck also seems to be generating some press, as does her clothing line.

Such a high level of exposure could have a downside for Lopez, 32, The Times warns, adding, “Lopez’s attempt to branch out from her hip-hip roots is gathering whispers that she could be spreading herself too thin,” leading the paper to pose the question: “Will Jennifer Lopez last?”

Time will tell, of course. But for now, The Times, being as polite — and objective — as possible, says: “If she cannot (last), it will not be because Sony Music Entertainment, the parent company of her label, Epic Records … has not tried.”

Those trying hardest are Sony chief Tommy Mottola — the former husband and mentor of Mariah Carey and no stranger to “diva creations” — and Lopez’s manager, Benny Medina.

The two men “have carefully cultivated and groomed (Lopez’s) career, sprinkling her image with a dash of ‘ghetto fabulousness’ here and a dash of middle-class respectability there to give her mass appeal.”

Their model, says The Times, is Madonna, “still going strong in her 40s, through the freshness of reinvention.”