“A newsletter from content strategist Ernest Wilkins meant to keep business folks updated on culture and culture folks updated on business. A great blending of two industries that are often divided, each newsletter features some combination of information on culture, music and marketing.” -The Best Single-Operator Newsletters on the Internet (InsideHook)

Hi, I’m Ernest. I’m a writer and media entrepreneur based in Chicago. My writing has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Complex, Deadspin, Gawker, GQ, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Vulture, VICE and way more. Andrew WK taught me how to ride a bike. Follow me on Twitter and follow the newsletter on Instagram.

Office Hours with Ernest Wilkins is a newsletter about the business of culture. The weekly newsletter and podcast employ a loose magazine-style format. Subscribers can expect personal essays, criticism, interviews, playlists, recommendations, and analysis of culture's business.

What does "the business of culture" actually mean?

The business of culture is precisely that—the research and study of cultural industries.

This newsletter falls into a middle ground between analysis of individual cultural industries (like motion pictures, music, sports, art, TV, fashion, or video games) and the broader study of how all of them interconnect to create the world we all live in. 

WHO IS THE IDEAL OFFICE HOURS READER?

I provide a lot of value for a very specific kind of reader.

In the interest of not wasting anyone's time, I've outlined who the ideal Office Hours w/me subscriber is:

The Office Hours with Ernest Wilkins subscriber is someone who:

  • got in trouble a lot as a kid for asking "why"?

  • knows that everyone comes with preloaded biases, including themselves.

  • doesn't assume everyone has had the same life experience and is genuinely interested in learning about others.

  • is a critical thinker.

  • believes in the following philosophies: Occam's Razor, Fast/Good/Cheap - Pick 2, being nice to administrative staff and public transit drivers.

  • is one of those forever-curious people that have zero problems spending hours researching something they saw on Twitter.

  • is a marginalized American working in cultural businesses, especially on the creative side.

  • is white and has more than two friends of color.

  • believes in themselves, even when it's tough sometimes.

  • is a later Gen-X/Millennial/early Gen-Z Chicagoan or was born and raised in the Midwest between 1980 and 2013.

  • is a media industry survivor.

  • is a media industry veteran who turned off their joy to survive and miss being excited about new things.

  • Is about...30% bro. You not only watch sports, but you have "a team." FWIW, I consider Rupaul's Drag Race and the OG Bad Girls Club as sports.

  • likes moodboards but has never signed up for Pinterest.

  • is in an interracial marriage or long-term interracial relationship.

  • is focused on how people interact with each other, both in-person and online.

  • knows not only who Funkmaster Flex is, but what a "bomb drop" means as a sign of cultural approval.

  • is a minority that grew up around white people and lived to tell about it.

  • is a white person that grew up around minorities and knows what's really going on out here.

  • is a former inside kid.

  • still subscribes to print magazines and still buys (makes?) cool zines.

  • works in advertising or marketing but still has friends that would roast them for days if they called themselves a "polymath" or "thought leader."

  • has parents who know you work in marketing/media/advertising but have no clue what you actually do for a living.

  • is white and has listened to It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, 400 Degreez, Ruff Ryders Vol. 1, In Search Of..., Lord Willin', XXX, and the first two Missy Elliott albums at least twice.

  • is the type to ask for books for their birthday or holiday gifts.

  • doesn't feel the need to tell everyone how good or cool they are all the time.

  • has ADHD and loves an excellent impulsive...anything.

  • is the type of person that doesn't need the whole thing laid out for them and is willing to do the work to find the answer.

  • is from the African Diaspora, has read The Preppy Handbook, owns 1-3 preppy items and/or a Triple-R: a Really Rare Ralph piece.

  • is a Black professional in the business of culture, trying to learn how to speak to white people.

  • is a white professional in the business of culture who know they should be doing better, but don't know where to start (and/or are too embarrassed to ask).

  • is a data person in the business of culture trying to learn how to do their jobs better.

  • is an idea people in the business of culture trying to learn how to do their jobs better.

  • has taste but would never make someone feel bad for not having any.

  • plays a sport, if only for exercise.

  • works in the buying, marketing, selling, or creation of culture.

  • is an artist that is tired of being asked dumb questions in interviews but is willing to be disagreed with publicly, if needed.

  • is one of "the people behind the people."

  • is "the mayor" of their city, let their friends tell it.

  • loved Vine and miss it every day.

  • smokes weed, even if they don't really put it out there like that.

  • grew up rich but recognize they got lucky instead of being a dick about it

  • went to a big American state college and actually went to class between hangovers. (bonus points if it was a football factory.)

  • people who have strong love and affection for the 90s Fox television sitcoms King of The Hill and Living Single.

  • loves cool clothes and actually has some capital-F fashion garments on-deck, but would instead buy vintage than splash out on something new.

  • I'm stealing this one from my SUPERSTAR mentee Safy Hallan-Farah, who’s newsletter you should subscribe to RIGHT NOW: "Is obsessed with how certain corporations try to sell counterculture. Would make a great in-house theorist somewhere, or an MTV VJ."