Quick Take: A Questionable Quadrant

In a savvy effort to reduce their ad-revenue losses, roughly two dozen newspaper companies have joined a cooperative group to offer advertisers access to multiple papers across the United States.

A group of major newspaper publishers -- industry leader Gannett (NYSE: GCI  ) , New York Times (NYSE: NYT  ) , Tribune, and Hearst -- recently partnered up as QuadrantOne, offering advertisers one-stop access to many of their online newspapers. (Times' namesake newspaper and Gannett's USA TODAY were not included, because they have their own online sales efforts.)

Since then, McClatchy (NYSE: MNI  ) , Belo (NYSE: BLC  ) , Media General (NYSE: MEG  ) , and a host of other companies have joined the original quartet. Though the expansion essentially doubles the size of the total number of newspapers participating, to around 250, the four founding companies still own the venture.

QuadrantOne is a wonderful idea, and it might just help to stop newspaper ad sales' precipitous plunge. But since Foolish investors aim to grow their own capital, I'd advise watching this gang's efforts from the sidelines. Regardless of QuadrantOne's success, newspaper publishing isn't fit territory for Fools desiring positive investment returns. 

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