A few years ago the Press Association paid a fortune for an animated news presenter called Ananova (geddit?). Anyhow, I remember being contacted by the techies behind this virtual newscaster because they couldn't get her to work.
There still seems to be a website of this name - probably to avoid a serious write down for the France Telecom owned mobile operator - but the idea of an avatar presenting personalised news has long gone the same way as Max Headroom.
But, as with many similar ideas, it seems that pretty soon you'll be able to buy lifelike avatars and have them act out and present your Internet TV Channel. This BBC report is worth checking out.