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Al Whitaker joined the WHNT News 19 news team in September, 2012, following a decade as the Media Relations Director at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

“The Space Center kept me close to journalism, getting to work with producers, photographers and reporters from all over the world, but I missed the work and jumped at the opportunity to become a part of the 19 News team,” Al says.

Aside from the stint at the Space Center, Al has spent his entire career in broadcasting, starting with an AM radio transmitter he built from a kit at age 7 (learning rather quickly that a wire stretched across the roof of his parent’s home greatly enhanced the range of the little rig), to those first paying jobs in radio at WANA and WDNG in Anniston while still at Anniston High School.

After college, he worked as News Director at WEYY in Talladega before moving “home” to North Alabama to become News Director at WQLT and then at WVNA.

It was during that time Al made the jump to television journalism and over the years has gained experience as a reporter, photographer, and even News Director, winning a number of awards along the way for both his photography and his reporting.

Al covers Limestone, Morgan and Lawrence Counties exclusively. He and his wife, Kim, live in Elkmont. Together they have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.

You can reach Al on Facebook or email al.whitaker@whnt.com and on Twitter @noozguy.


Recent Articles
  • Families surprised to learn pre-need policies don’t cover everything at Marshall Memorial Funeral Home

    ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – Many families in Marshall County are facing a very rude surprise when they try to use a pre-need policy they’ve purchased.  If you’re one of the thousands of families who purchased one of these policies, you need to read this. Families are having to come up with hundreds more dollars to pay for what the policy is supposed to already cover. “We got down there and the lady said you owe us another $800,” said Bobbie Hayes. “We […]

  • Residents ask Athens City Council to delay enforcement of rules on cemetery decorations

    ATHENS, Ala. – We have an update on a Taking Action story we’ve been following for a few weeks. A father is working to keep the decorations on and around his daughter’s grave at Roselawn Cemetery in Athens. Other families are joining him, and Monday night they took their pleas to the Athens City Council in hopes of a compromise. “I understand that some people never touch their family cemetery plot again. But then there are people like all of […]

  • Smith’s attorneys say execution was “botched”

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There are claims the State of Alabama botched the execution Thursday night of Ronald Bert Smith. He died by way of lethal injection at Holman Prison for the 1994 slaying of a Huntsville convenience store clerk. There are conflicting reports from witnesses. “Everything went as planned,” according to Alabama Department of Corrections Spokesperson Bob Horton. He watched the execution of Smith late Thursday night and tells us, “At no time did anything happen that would have caused […]

  • Athens to begin clearing decorations from graves next week

    ATHENS, Ala. – The president of the Athens City Council says they didn’t mean to, but he says they’ve opened a can of worms. Joe Cannon was talking about changes to rules regarding decorations on graves within city cemeteries. The families involved in the struggle tell us this is part of their grieving process and say they only want a little compassion from the city. But will they get it? WHNT News 19 is taking action on their behalf. Ken […]

  • Limestone County family fights Athens City Hall over decorations on daughter’s grave

    ATHENS, Ala. – A Limestone County family, still grieving over the death of their daughter, is now in a battle with city hall over her grave. Pat Montgomery says they chose Roselawn Cemetery in Athens because they allowed grave site decorations. But they say the city is changing the rules. WHNT News 19 is taking action for the Montgomery’s and other families who say the city is trying to legislate their grief. Michele Montgomery was killed by a drunk driver […]

  • Taking Action Investigation: Does Billy Kuenzel belong on Alabama’s death row?

    There is a growing list of people who believe the state of Alabama holds a man on death row who does not belong there, and a growing body of evidence to support their claim. Billy Kuenzel was tried and convicted for the 1987 killing of a Sylacauga convenience store clerk.  Now two decades later, we have discovered new evidence that not only casts doubt upon his guilt, it also calls into question the manner in which he was convicted.  WHNT […]

  • Taking Action Investigation: Does Billy Kuenzel belong on Alabama’s death row?

    Billy Kuenzel awaits execution for the 1987 killing of a convenience store clerk in Alabama.  However, a growing list of people says he has no business being there. Monday on WHNT News 19 at 10:00, we will update a special Taking Action Investigation that spans more than a year now.   More troubling information is coming to light. Kuenzel has been on Alabama’s death row since 1988.  He was accused of killing a convenience store clerk in Sylacauga during what prosecutors […]

  • Alabama’s prescription pill problem has dangerous consequences for our children

    For years, Alabama has led the nation in the numbers of prescriptions for opioid pain medications and as a result, the state has a significant problem with abuse and addiction with these pain pills. One of the biggest concerns is when these medications fall into the wrong hands, those of our children, and the problem is getting worse. From 1999 through 2010, the sales of prescription opioids quadrupled in the United States, with Alabama leading the way. Not surprisingly, the numbers […]

  • Chronic pain sufferers say they are the victims of efforts to control prescription drug abuse

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Prescription drug abuse continues to be a major problem throughout the country, but especially here in Alabama. We lead the nation in the number of prescriptions for narcotic pain medicines, and we also have one of the nation’s worst rates for deaths from overdose. That’s why the state is cracking down on doctors who over-prescribe opioids to their patients. But even that effort is creating yet another drug-related problem. Millions of Americans live with chronic pain. Whether […]

  • Alabama’s effort to curb prescription drug abuse is creating a different problem

    You’ve no doubt heard of the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in Alabama. We have one of the nation’s worst records for prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths. But efforts to control the flow of prescription drugs is creating a different kind of drug problem. State Health Officer Dr. Tom Miller describes Alabama’s prescription drug abuse problem as an epidemic.  He’s part of a growing effort to limit the availability of narcotic pain relievers in Alabama. “We had 762 […]

  • Tommy Arthur returned to death row cell, awaits U.S. Supreme Court ruling

    ATMORE, Ala. – The Alabama Attorney General’s Office says it does not know of another capital murder case in which the defendant has escaped death as many times as Tommy Arthur. Late Thursday, Arthur’s seventh scheduled execution was postponed so the U.S. Supreme Court could review arguments made by his attorneys just earlier in the day. Arthur has been on death row since his conviction in the 1982 for the contract killing of Troy Wicker of Muscle Shoals. After the […]

  • TONIGHT: Tommy Arthur scheduled to die by lethal injection

    ATMORE, Ala. – As it stands now, convicted murderer Tommy Arthur is scheduled to be put to death Thursday at 6 p.m. Arthur has been on Alabama’s death row for more than 30 years for the 1982 contract killing of a Muscle Shoals man. With his execution just hours away now, a flurry of last minute appeals is all that stands between Arthur and his 7th date with the executioner. He has escaped six other dates with death as a result […]