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.


Allow users to register while creating a new subscription

Rob Weir 2 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Mike Stickler 3 months ago 16

Hi there -- our newsroom has been frustrated for awhile with the logic in the subscription module that requires users to register for the newspaper's website before buying a subscription. It's creating a bit of friction when e.g. we want to give out a complimentary subscription to an advertiser or other user, and is also a difficult workflow for some of our users if they don't get a confirmation email for registration. 

I understand the logic of registration being different from subscription status; and I also understand the internal logic of someone needing a registration before they buy a subscription. However, I'm wondering if the subscription page could be streamlined, either to allow people to register while buying a subscription or to create a user registration record as part of a new subscription (that is, prompt for a username when purchasing a subscription). 

Thoughts on that? 


Limiting subscriptions by zip code

Rob Weir 1 year ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Mike Stickler 3 months ago 2

Hi all, 

We currently sell print and digital subscriptions online, and are considering doing print only, but there doesn't seem to be a way inside the Blox circulation system to limit print subscription offers by zip code (like most papers, we only deliver to a certain amount of zip codes and have mail subscriptions outside our circulation area). Our older online circulation system limited the print offer by zip code. 

Has anyone run into this, and if so, is there a solution for it? 

thanks, Rob 


Hi Rob,

We have a feature request in to add this to our paywall software. I don't have a timeline for it as of yet, but there is a workaround in the interim. Please start a ticket with our customer support folks and they will be able to help you.


Feature Request: Magazine style e-Editions

Kevin M. Cox 11 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Mike Stickler 3 months ago 5

We'd like to submit a request for magazine style "flip book" e-Editions, similar to Issuu with double-truck views:


Right now we are having to host these off-site to have this magazine view that readers like.

1) What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.

It allows for magazines and other special sections that aren't newspapers to be hosted in the native BLOX e-Edition.

2) How often would you use this feature?

At least monthly.

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

Everyone, including all readers.

Under review

Customization options needed for automatic emails

Kevin M. Cox 5 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 3 months ago 9

I've had a feature request open about this since last May (Ticket 666975) but wanted to get some public visibility on it as well. The addition of BLOX Notifier actually makes the situation worse and I have some good example images to share.

There are now two different ways to automatically send emails upon specific conditions in BLOX and both of them lack the customization ability needed to maintain a newspaper's brand and achieve specific goals.

First are examples of what our current breaking news emails look like, but they have to be sent manually through Email Reach's "Single Run." They maintain the style of all our other email newsletters and meet branding goals at the expense of being a manual process that gets forgotten at times.

Automatic Alerts for BLOX Email Reach


This option has been around for a couple years and allows filtering that most papers would need, however there is no ability to customize how these emails look. You are stuck with the examples below.

BLOX Notifier


I was hopeful the newly released BLOX Notifier would bring some improvements but unfortunately it is even worse. Emails produced by it are completely void of branding and most other useful information.


A few quick things:

1. The BLOX Notifier alerts should look like the BLOX Email Reach alerts. This is something we're working to fix.

2. We can make changes to the asset page "email" mode design in a generic way, so let me know what type of thing you'd like to see there.

3. We are working on a new way to be able to send better branded emails of all kinds... email alerts and reset password, etc. We are building a "Site Branding" panel where you can set your colors and your logo, etc. That way we will be able to use your logo and colors in a standard way on system-built items such as this.

Under review

Notifier: Push the message out when story goes live

Jason Braverman 4 months ago in BLOX Total CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 17

Say a reporter is completing his/her story. They've added the photos, gallery and any other assets. Next they move over to "Notifier" and create a tweet and FB message and hit "Save and Send." By default, since the story isn't "live" on the website yet, it goes into "draft" mode. Next, they'll promote the story for the editor to read. He/she reads it and promotes it to the web. Shouldn't the tweet and FB post go live at that time? 


Ads block text

dakota 6 months ago • updated by Joe Hansen (Product manager) 4 months ago 3

We've received many, many complaints that ads block out text in the phone app. We've contacted customer service but nothing was done. This is a real issue for our phone users.


Is anyone using the BLOX podcast feed feature?

David Rouse 4 months ago • updated 4 months ago 5

We are thinking about adding a podcast at our paper, and I've been looking at the BLOX documentation about setting up a /search/ url to create a home for the podcast feed - but I'm not quite able to visualize how this is supposed to work. It would be nice to see another BLOX site that hosts podcasts to see how it looks and to learn how it was configured. I'd like to have both an iTunes friendly RSS feed, as well as a way to have an asset page for each episode with show notes and a link to the audio. The answer "we have a podcast, but don't host it with BLOX" would also be an interesting.


Is anyone using LiveIntent in their newsletters?

Maureen Reinert 4 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 months ago 1

We are wondering if anyone has ever done anything with integrating LiveIntent (https://support.liveintent.com/hc/en-us/articles/217205726) into newsletters.

If anyone is using this, we love to find out how the integration went and what you think of LiveIntent.


Hi Maureen!

We are just about to launch an integration with a different vendor, but they provide programmatic email ads for BLOX Email Reach.

Due to the multiple "phases" that an email goes through (from us, to our email vendor, to the email software) there are many parts that all need to work in harmony - so this was a somewhat difficult integration to pull off.

That being said, we are doing beta tests this month, and hope to launch in the next few weeks. As part of the program, you get several blocks with different ad sizes, and you just use them throughout your newsletters as you see fit.

I will respond to your CRM ticket if you would like more information.

If anyone else is interested in beta testing, let your sales rep know - we can probably take one or two more. Otherwise, be on the look out for more information as this program launches in a few weeks. =)


Option to show number of times an article is viewed

Linda 4 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kim Mason BGDN 4 months ago 4

Dear Town News, currently we have the option of showing how many comments an article receives, would it be possible to show how many times an article has been viewed? We have the block that shows most popular, might be a nice option to show how many people read a story. Many thanks


Allow for downloading a csv of notification send times/dates by channel

Beth OMalley 4 months ago 0

To make compiling analytics on pushes easier, would be so helpful to be able to prepare a downloadable report of all pushes sent to a particular channel, with options on what columns to include in the report. 


Allow pre-roll ads on video assets to display when asset is embedded in story.

Brad Boner 4 months ago in BLOX Total CMS • updated 4 months ago 4

This seems like a no-brainer, but currently pre-roll ads in video assets only play when the video is viewed in the video asset itself. When a video is embedded in a story, such as a long-form article asset, the pre-roll ad does not play. Example can be found here:

Pre-roll ad plays in video asset: https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/multimedia/jhn_g_videos/video_a0761ba8-46ca-54a1-97e9-6285ea337178.html

Pre-roll ad does not display when video is embedded in a story: https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/valley/feature/article_1561a181-d971-50c0-8ce4-3c2833c348af.html

The value of video assets to potential advertisers is obviously diminished when we cannot show their ad before videos that are embedded in stories. This is an update that needs to be addressed ASAP.

PS — While you're at it, please allow a video asset's Description and Byline fields to display with video assets when embedded in article assets, similar to how they display when image assets are embedded into articles.


A Plan for Using Newer Bootstrap and/or more Flexibility with Grid, etc.?

Robert Dundon 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

Moving to Bootstrap in Flex has been great! 

However, as layout options are increasing, and with new versions of Bootstrap, is there a plan to keep things up-to-date?

It's definitely not urgent now, but wanted to see if there was a plan in order to prevent things getting as stale as "Zen" got by the time Flex rolled around.


Webinar | Introducing BLOX Offers: Digital offers for the mobile generation—no clipping required

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 4 months ago • updated 4 months ago 0

At our May customer webinar, Doug Green, product manager for TownNews, will introduce BLOX Offers and show how you can launch a turnkey digital coupon site that drives engagement and thrills advertisers.

Topics will include:

  • An in-depth overview of BLOX Offers
  • The benefits of coupons in the digital age
  • Tips you can use to launch a successful coupon site
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Join us on May 2nd at 10:30 AM CDT.


piano.io or similar

Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Maureen Reinert 4 months ago 1

We've got piano.io pitching our publisher:

a SaaS platform helping media companies convert anonymous web and APP visitors into registered subscribers, combat ad blockers, as well as customize newsletters and user site experience according to their content affinities. Some of our clients include: Chicago Sun-Times, Hearst, Bloomberg, Gatehouse Media, The Economist, and Business Insider.

Anybody using this or something similar with Town News?