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

Though TownNews.com 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.

Webinar | Ad Tech 101: Understanding ad trends, platforms, and positions

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 4 weeks ago • updated 2 weeks ago 1

Webinar recording now available.

At our August customer webinar, Joe Hansen, Senior Product Manager for TownNews, continued our series on digital advertising. We discussed current trends—including an update on the impact of viewability—and where the future of digital advertising is headed.

Topics included:

  • An overview of the TownNews iQ Ad Ops and Google Ad Manager 360 programs
  • Using HTML5 creative ad templates in Google Ad Manager
  • The differences between Fixed Ads, Smart Ads, Infinity Ads, and Automatic Article ads
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.


Feature request: Add batch editing of assets within a collection

Dave Ellis 2 years ago • updated by anonymous 1 month ago 7

Don't know if this is the appropriate means for suggesting an improvement, but here goes. There really needs to be a batch edit option within a collection.

I just pulled in a collection through syndication from the Times-Dispatch that included over 100 images of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Since they were not flagged appropriately, the "Buy now" button was appearing on the majority of images. The images all had varied titles and slugs, so my only recourse in flagging them as AP or contributed was to open each file > select the appropriate flag > save and close.

Easy work, but time consuming and unnecessarily repetitive.

This type of situation happens at least a couple of times per week.

Adding a batch edit function to the collections would be an easy fix.


Cover art doesn't scale on mobile

Beth OMalley 1 month ago 0

Cover art presentation doesn't "scale" on mobile -- the image doesn't appear at full-width on the mobile screen. That behavior is not documented in the Town News documentation. It would be helpful if all behavior was documented: 



Webinar | Your game plan for big revenue and engagement from prep football

Webinar recording now available

Your game plan for big revenue and engagement from prep football

Kick off your own turnkey high school football contests that convert local sports fans into lucrative repeat visitors. At this customer webinar, Doug Green, product manager for TownNews, showed how GamesPerform from TownNews gives you everything you need to launch hyper-engaging sports challenges that grab your audience’s attention, and keep them coming back.

Learn how to:

  • Let players compete with others, test their knowledge against your experts, and follow their progress with detailed stats.
  • Offer local advertisers a variety of high-visibility banner positions and contest sponsorship opportunities.
  • Extract big value from your programmatic advertising impressions with Google Ad Manager.
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to boost your revenue and audience engagement with turnkey high school pick’em contests?

Watch it now.


Is there a most popular block for Email?

Marshall Hopkins 2 months ago • updated 2 months ago 2

Or how would you create one out of the headline list block?


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.


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. 


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.


Notifier Feature Request Ideas

Allie Peters 5 months ago • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 months ago 2

1. Is there a way to trigger repeat notifications on the same asset? This is a fairly big deal, as breaking news stories are constantly updated as more details are available. The same story could be sent out 3 or 4 times.

2. Is there a way to define custom Facebook preview text? Currently, it seems Notifier grabs the story lede. Could, perhaps, the ‘Summary’ area on an article asset to define custom preview text? Of course, if no Summary text exists, it could default back to the story lede.

3. I’ve attached two images – one shows a Twitter post via Zapier/Buffer; one shows a Twitter post via Blox Notifier. You’ll notice some repetition with the lead text, as it’s also in the story link preview. Ideally, we would like tweets could be structured more like the Buffer version that is a photo post. That means: Structured as a photo post (<Raw Enclosure @URL> element) Text (<Title> <Raw Link>)


    Hi Allie!

    I'll go through each item step by step:

    1. Currently, you can re-notify a message by just posting an additional manual message. You can do this ahead of time (one post today, one post tomorrow) or when needed for breaking news. The automatic trigger will not re-trigger (which is good, because you wouldn't want that) - but if you create a new message for breaking news, it will re-post it.

    2. To define a custom Facebook message, you can type the message in the notifier message area. I believe that it will also use the Summary text as well.

    However, you may be talking about the summary that is in the news "card" area on Facebook, which is scraped from the page itself. See my docs here:


    3. What you're describing here is the "Twitter card" layout, which is specified on the page that is scraped by Twitter. For the example you have there, Butter is overriding the card type through their API.

    Usually, this is something we have by default as part of Flex templates. We have built-in logic that will specify a large photo in most circumstances. For some reason, this isn't showing on pantagraph. If you could submit a CRM ticket to see if there is something custom on this site or why the Twitter card logic isn't displaying for you.

    Let me know if you have more questions!

    Under review

    Why is "NOT" so hard for searches

    Mike Stickler 6 months ago • updated by David Dierker 4 months ago 4

    You know on any given day that I spend using blox (or nep for that matter) I run into at lease one instance where my life would be easier if I could specify "Not" for a search option.
    For example show me everything that's not wire... show me everything that's not sports... show me everything except breaking or developing. 

    I understand your UI design goal is to make it so easy a trained monkey can do it but how hard would it be to modify check boxes... 
    Empty (not selected)
    Click - Checked (selected)

    Click - Red X (search excludes this item)

    Under review

    Adding a date to social share images to indicate age of article

    Beth OMalley 5 months ago • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 2

    The Guardian is adding a year on their social share images, which is a genius idea.

    We've seen several articles that are years old get lots of traffic through social shares that don't indicate that the article is old. Generally, it's not an issue (one that comes up every summer is a guy who died about 4 years ago from a snake bite), but one that resurfaced was about a girl who reported an attempted kidnapping, and people were sharing it like it was new. To the point the PD had to post to Facebook about the issue (they were getting calls). 

    Here's why they're doing it: https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/guardian-fake-news-bid-timestamps-social-sharing/

    Here's how they're doing it (github): https://github.com/guardian/frontend/pull/21306

    I'm going to talk to internal developers about this, but it would be something I'd hope Town News could look at implementing as well. 

    Under review

    Reporting For Declined or Invalid Credit Card Subscriptions

    Mike Reichard 5 months ago • updated by Rich Griffin | Product Manager (Product Manager) 5 months ago 1

    Hi Folks,

    The problem that we are having, is that we must sift through many expired accounts to find accounts who have had their credit cards either decline of become invalid due to expiration dates. Right now, we must go through all the expired accounts, of which most are simply a renewal, to find these.  But this is eating up a lot of time each day and is one of the tasks that my entire staff loathe.  

    We need to be able to try to contact these folks from our end to be able to keep their subscription from just expiring or to get them restarted.  If we had a report that would generate any of these customers, we could contact them up to three days in advance of expire when their first renewal payment is attempted and comes through as Declined or Invalid.  This information is already getting listed in the account’s history, so it would seem that it could be something that could be reported. 




    Hi Mike,

    We do have a transaction report that can be sorted by recurring transactions which does include the expiration dates. Please call our Customer services representatives at 800-293-9576. and they will be able to help you out.


    The bottom bar was removed to maximize the work space. The preview options have been moved under the site selection in the top bar. In the upper right, select the site domain name and the selection screen should offer the preview options.