The Wicked Cow Studios Team   |   Board of Advisors

  • Michael Hermann
    President/CEO

    Through an inspired run in the brand world, Michael has grown into a triple threat, combining expertise in content creation, business development, and brand strategy. That's led to the creation of Wicked Cow Studios, a unique, Book-First content incubator dedicated to ground-up franchise development. For more than a dozen years, Michael and his legacy company, Wicked Cow Entertainment, created uncommon opportunities for some of the world's most beloved pop culture brands including management of the estates of Roberto Clemente and The Notorious B.I.G., the Julius Erving brand, Pelé, Wiffle®, Big League Chew, and Maxim, among others. More recently, Michael became Derek Jeter's co-founding and co-publishing partner in Jeter Publishing, a content studio including a joint venture partnership with publishing giant Simon & Schuster.

  • Adam Hirsch
    Chief Content Officer

    Adam Hirsch has spent a most colorful career in TV and digital media. Over 20 years, he’s created and produced series and specials for more than two dozen TV networks, including NBC, Discovery, History, A&E, MTV, and more. Most recently he parlayed his TV chops into digital media development and production as Head of Multimedia for WPP’s fastest-growing content agency, Group SJR. There he led a team that created genre-defining content for clients such as GE, Ford, Target, Reebok, Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil, Target and others. Before joining SJR, Adam showran two original series for MTV International and spent more than a decade at NBC Universal, where he was instrumental in launching both NBC News Productions and Peacock Productions. He's an Emmy Award nominee and winner of the CINE Golden Eagle Award.

  • Samantha Merley
    Creative Director

    A do-everything creative with a deep understanding of the business and the beauty of brand, Sam plays a vital role in Wicked Cow's unmatched strategic playbook. The product of a musical family, Sam entered the design program at New York's School of Visual Arts before graduating high school and was an agency art director by 23. As both a consulting strategist and a hands-on creative, she brings a multi-disciplinary, soup-to-nuts approach to creative storytelling that incorporates her design background, editorial gifts, and rigorous career of digital, visual, and marketing capabilities. Sam has guided projects for clients such as Newman's Own, Versace USA, Gay Men's Health Crisis, A&E Television International, Louis Jadot, Marriott, and many more.

  • Elliot Schaeffer
    General Counsel

    Elliot has been an integral force in shaping the legal and business structure of Wicked Cow. Specializing in intellectual property licensing and corporate and commercial law, Elliot has overseen full protection of WCS’ IP in addition to assisting in negotiations for brand extension initiatives and media partnerships. His extensive litigation experience in both State and Federal Courts is second-to-none, representing his corporate clients in a variety of matters stemming from business-related issues, including employment litigation, shareholders’ rights, and contractual legal matters. With more than 30 years of experience in private practice and having served as Law Secretary to the Honorable Duncan S. McNabb in the Supreme Court, State of New York, early in his career, Elliot brings an invaluable wealth of talent to Wicked Cow.

  • Frank Fochetta
    SVP/Publishing Operations

    Frank is an accomplished publishing executive across multiple disciplines, having conceived, modeled, and executed licensed publishing platforms from Michael Jordan to Spider-Man to General Mills. During his stay at the NBA, he successfully launched Inside Stuff, a sponsor-supported and paid circulation kids basketball/entertainment magazine fashioned after the NBC hit of the same name. Frank spent a decade as VP Sales for Simon & Schuster where he oversaw the special sales, independent book retail, and proprietary customer base, which led to successful book launches with Fox Sports, Fox Television, and Spoonful of Stories, a 10-year literacy partnership between General Mills Cheerios and First Book. He previously served as SVP of Publishing at Marvel and VP Strategic Alliances at HarperCollins.

  • Mallory Stratton
    Associate Editor

    Mallory is the studio's resident pop culture fiend and as a Wicked Cow veteran has run the gamut of responsibilities from research to business development. As an in-house Associate Editor, Mallory brings a fresh, deft, and scrupulous eye to Wicked Cow's Book-Franchise content. She's armed with years of rigorous study, having graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. An unlikely cigar enthusiast, Mallory was also a longtime bartender at the legendary East Village haunt, Velvet Cigar Lounge, where she shared smokes and stories with characters of all stripes.

  • Matt Russo
    Associate Franchise Manager

    Young rainmaker and Associate Franchise Manager, Matt Russo, brings a colorful skillset to Wicked Cow. From biz dev to publishing operations, Matt had a heavy hand in the day-to-day of WCS’ first Book-Franchise, It’s All In Your Head. The UMass grad’s an experienced Irish dairy farmer, a licensed bartender, and ordained minister. The cow connection is strictly coincidence.