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.


Advertorial / paid content

Marie 6 months ago updated by Nicholas.farnsworth1 4 months ago 4

Curious if any sites are having success with doing paid advertorials or sponsored articles, and if so, how do you separate them from news content or do you have a specific place on site where they are placed?


Search User Comments

Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

Had a new question from a reader we haven't gotten before. They wanted a way to specifically search through user comments across the site.

Has this ever been considered before?


Request: Apply End Date to Polls, but still show results.

Jeff Sebestyen 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We have been voting on this feature for over 3 years,  I would assume the would be common functionality.  Ending a poll manually or automatically after the ballot has run it's course.  I am asking incase I am missing something.  Otherwise please consider this a request.  


Unify Account/Login Creation and Subscription Purchase into a single step/page

mcgregora 4 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Rich Griffin | Product Manager (Product Manager) 4 months ago 2

Making a feature request for the ability to have the purchase subscription page also capture account (login) creation information and establish that user profile in a singe step-page-process ... thus eliminating the multi-step process of a site visitor having to first create an account before he/she can actually purchase a subscription.

This would enhance the user experience and eliminate a bottleneck/bail out point in the subscriber acquisition process.

Please support this post so it climbs the feature request ladder faster.



Evvnt Calendar Migration

Jesus Sanchez 4 months ago updated 4 months ago 6

Hello.If we migrate to the new Evvnt Calendar, will we still be able to embed events into individual articles and newsletters? Would we still set the price for upsells? 


Beta testers needed urgently for two initiatives

Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 5 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 4 months ago 1

Hi everyone!

We are looking for someone to beta test two urgent initiatives we are working on…

Firstly, a “Support Local Journalism” page which will ask readers to contribute money or subscribe in order to support journalism during this time. It can be paired with messaging throughout the site that says something like, “We are providing coronavirus coverage without a subscription out of public interest.” And then a link to contribute or subscribe if they want to help.

Secondly, we have a new Photo Sales vendor (Fotomoto) to replace the other one, which is currently down.

If you are interested in helping with either - or both - initiatives, we just need a site for testing, and some of your time to provide feedback.

Each of these items will require some minor set up on your side, such as creating a new account with Fotomoto and Donorbox.org, and possibly connecting a Paypal or Stripe account for payments.

I realize this is a crazy time, but if you feel you have the time to help us test these things, we can do almost all of the work (except for setting up the accounts and reviewing the work) for you!

Let me know if you are interested!


Omit categories of items from search

KetchikanJ 4 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 4 months ago 0

An option to prevent the following from appearing in blank/null searches 

or searches including Articles + Images: 

• Photos that are both child assets and don't have a section tag assigned to them •


1. What problem(s) does this idea solve?


Prevents duplicate photo resources from being displayed (often alongside each other) in searches. 


There are photo child assets that are technically required to have titles, those are usually the assets whose titles we want the least visible. Asset titles are effectively hidden unless a search is performed.

2. How often would you use this feature?


When I run a blank/null search to chronologically see what users will see.


I sometimes direct users to blank/null searches when they want to see a chronological list of content.

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


I would likely be the only one internally.


Flex search utility not indexing authors

Eman Elshahawy 5 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

There's currently no feature that allows author names of articles to be indexed by the search utility. It only works if the byline is entered in manually as opposed to adding an author by registered user account with the CMS. The only way to access a curation of all of the author's articles is to find an article they wrote and click on their author name, where it prompts to a url address like this www.siteaddress.com/users/profile/authorfirstname%20lastname/

Under review

Staff Directories / Newsletter sign up pages

Crindalyn Lyster 9 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Thomas Martinez 5 months ago 8

Does anyone have examples of staff directory pages they've created outside of static HTML pages on their sites? How about newsletter list landing pages that are more than the out of the box "list" of newsletters available. 


Webinar | Tips and resources for weathering the coronavirus crisis

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 5 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 5 months ago 1

Webinar recording now available.

At this special webinar, the TownNews team shared ideas and best practices for serving your audience and generating revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.

Topics included:

  • How to quickly build a high-traffic special section to cover breaking news with BLOX CMS.
  • Leveraging the TownNews Content Exchange Network to augment your local coronavirus coverage with nationwide content.
  • Using subscription rules to disable your paywall/meter for specific sections of your site.
  • Hosting virtual business and career fairs to strengthen ties to your community and grow revenue.
  • Using programmatic advertising—and the expertise of the iQ Ad Ops team—to generate incremental revenue from breaking news traffic spikes.

Ready to get started? Watch it now.


Add "Breaking" flag to video assets

Jared F 5 months ago 0

This is a feature request to add the Breaking flag to video assets. 

1.WHAT PROBLEM DOES THIS SOLVE:  this allows us to use a LIVE VIDEO ASSET as a breaking news item on our site.  It provides easy access to one or multiple live streams in the case of breaking news.

2. HOW OFTEN WOULD WE USE IT: Often. Sometimes multiple times a day


As broadcasters, our life blood and competitive advantage is video. The easier we can streamline the process for our viewers, the better for everyone.


Set up "SPONSORED" content flag to flow into email newsletters

Bruce Potter 5 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

"Sponsored content" is becoming a larger part of news organizations' revenue offerings to advertisers. But it's important that sponsored content be flagged as such in all formats to ensure the reader can differentiate between what is sponsored and what is actual news content. So we use the "SPONSORED" flag when posting articles through BLOX. However, when we pull articles into an email newsletter, the "SPONSORED" flag does not show up in the newsletter, so the content appears in the newsletter just like any other editorial content. We'd just like the option to have the "SPONSORED" flag show up in the newsletter, and ideally, for the sponsored content to be somehow distinguished, such as a shaded background. This would avoid confusing the reader and keep the delineation clear between actual news content and sponsored content.


More fine-tuned controls on "Buy Now" buttons on photos

Graham R. Archer 3 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 5 months ago 6

Hey folks, I submitted an idea to Town News, and they said I should post it here to see if this development idea would help others, too. Anything else think this would be helpful?

The idea is basically to add a few new controls — either on the section level or on specific photo types — to allow editors to turn off the "buy now" button on all mugs, all crime stories, or other examples like that.

Town News asked me to answer these questions:

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

A: There are dozens of photos used daily on our website that we do not want to sell. Many of these get automated tags that remove the "buy now" button (AP photos, for instance), and that's great. But still a large number of photos get manually tagged with #nosale to keep that button hidden. It would be very helpful to have more specific, targeted and automated ways to blacklist some photos from being sold. For instance, we NEVER want to sell a photo of a criminal who just committed some heinous crime. And a huge number of the mugs we run on our website are handouts that we can't sell, and even the ones that are ours are not any real source of revenue. My proposal would be that we have some ability to turn on/off the "Buy now" button for specific photo types (like all mugs) or sections (so you could turn off sales for all photos attached to stories categorized as crime, for example).

How often would you use this feature?

A: This would be used daily. The automated button removal would impact dozens of stories and several dozen photos each day.

How many people in your organization would use this feature?

A: All online editors would gain from this function, and reporters would no longer have to alert online staff to photos that got missed during the tedious and error-prone manual #nosale application process. Dozens of employees would be impacted.


Hi guys!

We have now added more logic to our "automated" photo sales option. See this updated doc:


We have also added the ability to turn off photo sales per section (via custom properties), as well as batch update photo sales.

Hope this helps!



Copying e-Edition pages from one edition rto the next

lmcbride 5 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We have five pages that we want to add to the daily e-Edition, Each page has segmented areas that link to interactive puzzles on our website. We want the ability to copy these pages from one e-Edition to another without  having to re-segment the pages each day.