In June 2010, Stephens tried garnering Arkansans' interest for online auction service Boocoo.com through its newspapers and news websites.
"It was just something that we did not see a return on" Stallbaumer said of Boocoo.com.
One new player in the newspaper and media auction space is Ranger Data Technologies, which created Boocoo, an auction system in which individual ZIP codes are "licensed" to participating newspapers or other media.
Boocoo, launched in June, is not yet charging any fees as it builds traffic and awareness.
It won't be fully functional until June 21, but some of Stephens Media's websites (including SWTimes.com) and Paxton Media Group's Jonesboro Sun (JonesboroSun.com) are already promoting Boocoo.com, an online auction service being launched with marketing support by more than 300 newspapers nationwide.
Dennis Byrd, publisher of Stephens Media's central Arkansas newspapers, said Boocoo would pay participating newspapers a commission on the auction fees generated from ZIP codes in which the newspapers have significant circulation.
Boocoo.com is owned by Ranger Data Technologies Inc.
Ranger Data Technologies, the Augusta, Ga.-based company best known for its classified advertising systems, will debut Boocoo Auctions with at least 200 newspaper mastheads covering more than 6,000 of the 29,735 ZIP codes it has identified as residential ZIPs.
ZIP codes are a key to Boocoo Auctions business model.
When the erosion became a torrent, he says, it seemed Boocoo's moment had arrived.