Carson Clark, our longtime Sand Mountain reporter and weekend evening anchor, left WHNT News 19 at the end of November 2014 for a new line of work. This is bittersweet for us. We have enjoyed working with Carson all these years. He is truly our friend and he's always had a smile when he walks in the newsroom.
We also like to joke that he hasn't seemed to age a day, as you'll see in our photo gallery.
Carson started off with us as a photographer in 1999 after graduating from the University of Alabama. He moved up to reporter, then fill-in anchor and weekend anchor, continuing his reporting duties in Marshall, Jackson and DeKalb counties. He has covered all kinds of stories during his career, including hurricanes, national championship games and local and state politics.
Carson has also visited many a school, reading to hundreds of elementary school children in Marshall County over the years.
So, where is Carson going? Well, he's taking a job in a brand new field. He has accepted a position with Congressman Robert Aderholt, who represents Alabama's 4th District. Carson will be the press secretary, mainly working out of the Congressman's office in Cullman. He is looking forward to this new chapter in his life.
His last day anchoring the news was Sunday, November 30.
Carson, we wish you the best and will truly miss you. We're glad you won't be far, though.
Carson wrote this message about his time with WHNT:
I knew I wanted to do something in television from an early age. When I was 14, I actually figured out how to reverse engineer the VCR to start broadcasting my own TV station. I wrote a letter to WHNT's general manager explaining to him what I had done and asked if there were any part-time jobs I could apply for. He sent me a very nice letter back reminding me the FCC has strict rules about illegally built TV stations and also telling me I was still too young to work at the station. However, he did encourage me and tell me he was confident I would one day be walking the halls of WHNT.
I have been extremely blessed to be at WHNT these past 15 years. I have had the opportunity to meet wonderful people from every corner of the Tennessee Valley. We have all seen good times and bad. None of us who were here on April 27, 2011, will ever forget those dark days. But the good experiences and positive stories will always outshine the bad. I was able to go to five BCS National Championship games in a row. I've covered 10 Iron Bowls, including some of the most memorable in series history.
But more importantly, I've been able to tell good stories about good people who make up this place we all call home. A story that will always stand out to me is about a sweet woman in Boaz. We were able to help get her a new pair of dentures after hers were thrown away by accident. That might sound funny, but to her it was a life-altering experience that we were able to help her correct. She called us that Christmas to thank us once again for helping her to be able to enjoy the holiday.
Yet, without a doubt the most important story I've ever covered was a 1977 murder mystery. In 2007, we did a story on the 30th anniversary of a young man's body being found in a Marshall County cemetery. Three decades later he had not been identified and his murderer had gone free. That story was able to help investigators find out that he was a 19-year-old man from Athens whose family had wondered for far too long what had become of their brother. The mystery was solved and a family got closure. At his funeral, which came 30 years after his death, his sister walked up to me and said, "God sent you to us." There is no award, acclamation or honor I could ever receive that will ever top those few words.
In closing, I want to thank everyone at WHNT for the great opportunities I have been given over the years. It has been a blessing to be a part of this great TV family. And, I of course have to thank the viewers who have welcomed me into their homes, let me tell their stories and said hello to me over these years. I will simply quote what Grady Reeves, Robert's dad, said on his last day at the station back in 1991. "Thank you. Thank you for everything."