Welcome to the TownNews customer community! Connect with other TownNews customers and with us to suggest features, share best practices and ask questions.

Though TownNews representatives often participate in discussions, this is not a customer service site. For immediate help, call 800-293-9576 or submit a support request via our online ticketing system.


Publish changes

Henry M. Lopez 4 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 3

I'd like to request that we add an additional button called Publish Changes. If I write a short story, that an editor looks at and puts online, I'd like go and add more to it and save it. I believe that would publish the change without an editor seeing it. I'd like to as a reporter save the change so my editor can see it, make edits and then committ the change with a Publish Changes function.

Would anyone else thing that'd be helpful?


Feature request: controlling the order of assets in The River Of News

Thomas Martinez 5 months ago updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 1

For those who use the TownNews e-edition:

We think it's important for our organization to control the assets in the River of News. Right now, according to TownNews, there is no way to control that. Basically, it just shows up in whatever order it does. They think it's feasible, but asked me to put in a feature request.

How important do you think this is? Would you use it to place importance on the the content in your River of News?




News Budgeting Process

Henry M. Lopez 4 months ago in BLOX Total CMS 0

Hello, Folks.

We're just moving from web hosting to full integration of Total CMS. Can someone hear give me an example of how you do your news budgeting using BLOX Total CMS. What are best practices, frustrations, opportunities? Thanks.


Alter AP photo byline for API delivery

Amanda Reiter 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

In the new AP API delivery, in the preview of the image, you see (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) in the caption. When you open the image to publish on your site, the credit has been removed from the caption, but in the byline field you usually see Seth Wenig - staff, AP or Leila Coker - stringer, AP. Sometimes you see just the name and no organization. 

The reader doesn't care what the title is of the photographer, so we would need to remove this prior to publishing. 

We are used to seeing the credit in the caption, and styled like how it appears in the preview (AP Photo/Seth Wenig). 

My request is the photo byline be styled as you see it in the caption. If that is not possible, the next easiest thing might be to remove the title from the byline. 


Photo versus video as lede image

Erica Smith 4 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Dave Hon 4 months ago 8

If a couple of photos are added to a story, the photos are displayed under the headline; hooray! If a YouTube video is added to a story, the video is displayed under the headline; hooray!

But if there are both photo and video child assets, the visual under the headline defaults to photos, and pushes the video to the bottom of the story on mobile or a sidebar on desktop (unless the video is dragged into the body of the story). That's much less exciting.

If an article has both photos and videos, we'd like to have the flexibility to choose which is dominant. The easiest way: The asset listed first should win. (If it's not the easiest way, it's still what we'd like to happen.) Is that possible?


On both platforms (Zen and Flex), we think inline assets are the best way to go. That is our recommended way to do "positioning" within an article.

I believe that if you have 1 video and 3 photos, for example, you can pull the photos inline and then the video will be used for the "main display" area. Again, that functionality is for Flex.


Under review

Scheduling blocks

eeckert 2 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Thomas Martinez 5 months ago 14

I think a nice feature would be a custom option within a block to schedule it for certain times.

We currently have a few blocks that I only have show up on a single day of the week so I manually disable it when we don't need it.  Having something with the block options itself where I could schedule it to enable and disable itself would be great.


Feature Request: E-edition clip and print tool

Chase Doak 5 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

As we get more and more readers moved from print subscriptions to digital-only subscriptions, we've had several older readers ask how they can easily print the crosswords, jumbles and Sudoku puzzles from the e-edition.

My request is for a simply clipping tool to make it easier to print a portion of the e-edition, similar to the print/save tool used by Newspapers.com. It works quite effortlessly and is user-friendly, even for readers who lack tech skills.


Webinar | What’s new in the BLOX Now app and BLOX CMS

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 5 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 5 months ago 0

Webinar recording now available.

At our November customer webinar, Susan Bell, product manager, and Christine Masters, director of product management, will show off what’s new in the BLOX Now app and in BLOX CMS.

Topics will include:

  • Exciting updates to the BLOX Now app, including: lucrative new ad positions, powerful full-site searching, updated weather features, and enhanced subscription support.
  • An introduction to BLOX Media Library, a new way to keep track of images and other binary files in BLOX CMS.
  • Fighting ad inventory fraud within your apps with new “app-ads.txt” support.
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.

Under review

Feature request: Support for Facebook Instant Article Metering/Subscription

Bob Rose 6 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Patsy J. Moore 5 months ago 3

Facebook is offering an instant article paywall that lets publishers keep 100 percent of subscription revenue.
Details here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tdcq6ocqd1x3hoo/2019-07-25%2013.36%20Subscriptions%20within%20Facebook%20Instant%20Articles.mp4?dl=0

The page that talks about instant article paywall(https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instant-articles/subscriptions/) shows that the integration requires custom FB Pixels events being triggered, on login, and during purchase.
This level of integration doesn’t appear to be something that can be done in GTM, nor in BLOX templates, and seems to  require BLOX software support.The page that discusses account linking (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instant-articles/subscriptions/account-linking) mentions the need for “signed pixel events.”
That page shows sample code in PHP to generate the signed data, which requires access to the FB App secret, which would be unique to each BLOX website, just as the FB App is unique to that website.
This whole process requires running code server side to keep secrets. The “account linking” event requires an account_id to link the FB user to the BLOX user (for subscriber access details.) The only really reliable/secure account_id is the user’s UUID, which isn’t exposed in a cookie, so the front-end doesn’t have access to it .


Webinar | How to upgrade your ad targeting with data you already have

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 5 months ago updated by Patsy J. Moore 5 months ago 2

Webinar recording now available

Join Tim Turner, iQ Engage program manager at TownNews, and Tim McDonough, manager of client strategy at Lotame, as they show you how TownNews and Lotame can help you improve ad targeting, and make more money with your in-house (first-party) data.

Topics included:

  • Using your own proprietary audience data to maximize advertising revenue
  • Augmenting your in-house data with third-party audience data to unlock new ad targeting opportunities
  • Expanding your advertisers’ reach with look-alike modeling
  • . . . and more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.


Facebook Instant Articles

Paul MacNeill 4 years ago updated by Robert110 5 months ago 4

Following up on Rob Weir's question, but with a Facebook focus. A Wordpress plug in was just announced making it easy for all publishers to access instant articles. Does TownNews have a plan to quickly match this?


Yes! We have already built the integration in fact. We haven't yet announced it because we'd like to have a customer go live with it to make sure it works properly and there are no issues. If anyone has a Facebook account that is approved for this, let me know, since it is still technically in beta on the Facebook side. =)




Feature request: Add column in Editorial/Assets next to Title, Status, Sections and Start Time for Notification Date and Time.

erikover 5 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

What I would like, if possible, is to have a column in Editorial/Assets next to Title, Status, Sections and Start Time for Notification Date and Time.

1) What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.
As of now, to remember or view what assets are set for you have to open each individual asset. This takes many steps and extra time. Also, as you know, opening an asset after a notification has been set increases the odds the post is prone to errors.

2) How often would you use this feature?
Daily. It would be used just like the Title, Status, Sections and Start Time columns.

3) How many people in your organization would use this feature?

Everyone who posts assets.


private browsing / Incognito Mode Detection

The Keene Sentinel 5 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

It would be nice to have a detection and pop up for when people are viewing our site in incognito mode.    It should allow for a message and perhaps a promo code to purchase a subscription at a special offer.    

* It should work like the ad blocker detector*



jim.green 5 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Joe Hansen (Product manager) 5 months ago 3

How do I block PRNewswire from getting included in my Town News Content Exchange? 


All PR Newswire content gets assigned to a specific set of section tags under Partners -> PR_Newswire. You can adjust your importer to exclude those section tags, or build an importer to import just the content exchange sections you want to import.


Link assets in vertical galleries

scott.rada 5 months ago 0

Even with a preview image, link assets don't display well in vertical galleries. My suggestion is to have them look just like an article asset (with image and preview option).