Lede AI is a premier example of coaching developing and scaling. In an engagement that started in Q1 2018, we worked with the Richland Source team to discover how they could use AI in their newsroom. A local newsroom staffed with about 10 journalists in the middle of the Rust Belt, Richland Source is cutting edge among local independent online news organizations, and they wanted to raise the game.
We discussed the AI that was available, we discussed their pinch points, the things that cause them the most frustration, and the items that would save them the most time. Our coaching engagement ended with two very simple questions. The first, “Could you use speech recognition and voice to text too save reporters time after interviews and school board meetings?” For the price of a small subscription to an AI transcription company, this problem was solved. Immediately, several Richland Source resports got over five hours of their week back. Just like that.

The second question was, “Could a computer write and publish a newspaper article and publish it without human intervention?”
Beginning the development phase of the project, we scoped out two different types of articles. The first, real estate. Could a computer write an article about all the real estate transactions in the area?
The second option was about sports stories. Could a computer write a game recap about local sporting events in the area? This could be an interesting use case because the Richland Source coverage area has more high school games on the average football Friday night than they have reporters and freelancers. That means that some of the games simply do not get covered. Beyond that, sports are a highly read topic and a tool that could write game recaps would save journalists a ton of time.
Fast forward six weeks later. In close collaboration with the newsroom, we had built a prototype AI to write sports articles recapping games after they’ve been played. In our first trial run, which was week one of the high school football season our AI published twice as many game recaps as the newsroom had published the entire previous season. It was clear: we were on to something.
We decided to scale Lede AI and turn it into an AI newswire. If the Richland Source newsroom did not have enough staff to cover all of the sports games in their area, how many other newsrooms face the same problem?
Fast forward to Q1 2021. Lede AI now writes, edits and publishes tens of thousands of unique articles per year for dozens of media outlets across the country, all without human intervention. We published this content 10X cheaper than a freelancer, and hours before any freelancer.
Lede Ai has spun off and become a joint venture between Teammate AI and Richland Source. For more, visit