Last month, we saw the sudden resignation of Zak Gilbert, the Cleveland Browns' director of communications, after just one year with the team. With training camp set to begin the next week, the Browns have found his replacement. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer, Peter John-Baptiste has been hired "to be vice president of the team's media department."
We're not sure what John-Baptiste's official title will be, but he's worked for the New York Giants in various roles for the past 17 years. He was the team's VP of Communications for the past three years, and as far as we can tell, he still held that role up until the Browns hired him. Therefore, you have to imagine this is a rather lucrative promotion for him. John-Baptiste must have a good reputation, though, because several members of the national media complimented the hire:
Best hire of the off-season: the Browns snagged Peter John-Baptiste to run their PR department. One of the best in the business.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) July 17, 2014
Biggest NFL move of the day-- Giants PR impresario Peter John-Baptiste to Cleveland. One of the very best in the business. Congrats PJB.— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) July 17, 2014
Outstanding hire. Congrats to him. RT @MaryKayCabot: Browns hire Giants VP of Communications Peter John-Baptiste as VP of media department— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 17, 2014
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network called the hiring "smart." If John-Baptiste is used to handling the media attention that a New York team gets, then maybe the Browns feel he'll be able to manage the Johnny Manziel buzz appropriately. You can read more about John-Baptiste's history here, in an article from 2010.
Let's give John-Baptiste a warm welcome to Cleveland!