HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We’re very excited to tell you Clarissa McClain is getting a promotion!
Clarissa will now co-anchor WHNT News 19 at 6:00 p.m. with Greg Screws and 10:00 p.m. with Jerry Hayes. Clarissa was already a familiar anchor on these newscasts as she has been one of the primary fill-in anchors. Clarissa’s new assignment fills a void in our anchor team created when Elise Morgan announced she would be leaving the Tennessee Valley to return to her home state of Texas to help her mother who is battling breast cancer.
Prior to this, she co-anchored WHNT News 19 at 5:00 p.m. with Lee Marshall and WHNT News 19 at 9:00 p.m. on WHNT2 with Greg Screws.
Clarissa has been a valuable member of the WHNT News 19 team since 2007, and has served in a variety of capacities including spending nearly two years as a reporter in our Shoals newsroom.
“I’ve been very fortunate to grow professionally in this industry and not have to do it at a lot of different stations and cities,” she said. “I feel so blessed that WHNT believed in me and gave me the chance to grow from the weekend producer to a full-time reporter for the Shoals Bureau, and now to a prominent anchor position. It’s been a great seven years and I’m looking forward to the future.”
She recalls some of the reports she’s done during her time in the Tennessee Valley.
“The stories that matter most to me are the ones that educate people and empower them to better themselves and their lives. For example, I was tested for HIV during a special report. I felt compelled to do it because African-American women represent 65 percent of all new cases of HIV. Knowing your status and having honest discussions about the disease is very important. Last May, Greg Screws and I participated in the “Below the Line” Challenge to bring awareness to hunger and poverty issues in our community. We only had $1.50 per day for food. It was really eye-opening to me and a lot of people to see and understand the struggles that many people face on a daily basis.”
Clarissa also brings you our weekly Pay It Forward segment, where we surprise a deserving person in the community with $319. These reports air every Monday on WHNT News 19 at 6:30 p.m.
“When people tell me they don’t watch the news because it’s all bad, I can personally vouch for the fact that that isn’t true,” Clarissa said. “Pay it Forward is all about positivity and service! The segment highlights the great work that’s being done in our community and the people who selflessly give of themselves to help others.”
Clarissa is a native of Atlanta. She graduated from Auburn University in 2005. She and her husband DeMarco have a dog, Elle.
“Huntsville is a great place to call home. I enjoy the kindness of people in the Tennessee Valley. I love how you can be sitting next to a guy at a sandwich shop who’s wearing a T-shirt and shorts and he could be a rocket scientist. It’s a good mix of progression and tradition.”
Clarissa is invested in this community. During her time as a reporter in the WHNT Shoals Bureau, the Shoals Area Chamber of Commerce presented her with its Chairman’s Award for her work with the Shoals Area CrimeStoppers. Clarissa is a graduate of the FBI’s Citizens Academy. She’s recently been accepted to the Huntsville-Madison County Leadership Connect Class 17.
We invite you to wish her congratulations below!