Doctor of Art History, Professor. He graduated from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) with a degree in Drama Study. In 1999 he was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation for creating the Kultura TV Channel. Head of VGTRK (1998–2000), Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation (2000–2004), Head of the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography (2004–2008). Since 2008 — a Special Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation on International Cultural Cooperation and an Ambassador-at-large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The President of the Russian Academy of Television in 2008–2013. Since 2015 — a President of the Council of Founders of NP "Committee of Television Industrial Awards".
The author of such books as Drama, Theatre, Life and Secrets of Wandering Comedians, as well as multiple articles in academic journals and periodicals of Russia, USA, Germany and other countries. In 2011 he became an Academic Adviser of the Higher School of Policy in Culture and Administration in Humanities (Faculty of the Lomonosov State University). He is awarded with orders of the Russian Federation, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Monaco.