Rossoff considered himself to be one of the stars of the magazine's staff and was not shy about declaring this, or in using it for leverage. Though he often threatened to quit and go work for the magazine's chief rival, Galaxy, where he felt his name – next to those of Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Theodore Sturgeon – was the only thing keeping Galaxy from being complete, he never made good on his threat to Douglas Pabst. Instead, Rossoff used his position to negotiate small raises for himself, and to get more fresh doughnuts for the office, a fact that amused his co-worker Kay Eaton greatly.
Unusually for the time, Rossoff believed in racial equality and frequently stood up for Benny Russell, a black writer at the magazine. This often brought him into conflict with Pabst, which grew more heated when Russell began writing stories about a space station run by a black captain. Pabst accused Rossoff of being a Communist, which he adamantly denied and in turn accused Pabst of being a fascist. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")
Herbert Rossoff was played by Armin Shimerman, who had grown accustomed to appearing as Quark. "Herb Rossoff was not an extension of Quark [....] Being out of makeup," the actor explained, "was slightly off-putting [....] It was bizarre to be bare-faced on a Star Trek show. I never had been before." On the other hand, Nana Visitor remarked, "It was fun to see Armin [...] finally free of all that rubber." Though "Far Beyond the Stars" leaves it unanswered as to whether Rossoff was a Communist, Shimerman referred to the character as indeed being so, an aspect the actor believed went some way toward differentiating Rossoff's thinking from Quark's capitalist, Ferengi mindset. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 535)
Based on the names of his stories and his personality, it is likely that Rossoff is an analog for author Harlan Ellison. Another detail which referred to reality but related to Rossoff was the fact that a memo, used as set dressing in "Far Beyond the Stars" and which he had apparently received from Douglas Pabst, suggested that "no one would believe that a cheerleader could kill vampires"; this was an in-joke referring to the fact Armin Shimerman appeared as a recurring character on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 537)