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Clarissa McClain anchors WHNT News 19 at 6:00 with Greg Screws and WHNT News 19 at 10:00 with Jerry Hayes. She also brings you our weekly Pay It Forward segment Mondays on WHNT News 19 at 6:30.

Helping people, keeping them informed, and inspiring them is what drives her passion for news. Her personal philosophy: “Everyone has a story — good or bad, happy or sad — It’s my job to share it with others. One story has the power to change many lives.”

One would think after years of pretending to be Vanna White, staging talk shows in her parent’s living room, and developing a slight obsession with makeup, she would have known all along that she was destined for a future in television. But it took her four years and two academic major changes to figure it out. In 2005, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Auburn University. WAR EAGLE!!!

Her broadcasting career began with an internship with the award-winning Investigative Team at FOX5 News in Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly after that, she landed her first job at WTVY News 4 in Dothan, Alabama. Clarissa spent one year in the Wiregrass, reporting on a range of topics from city government to the Enterprise tornado disaster. In April 2007, she moved to North Alabama to work at WHNT-TV.

In 2014, Clarissa and several of her colleagues received a regional Emmy award for “Boys & Girls”, a special report on the Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama.

Clarissa is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but loves living in the Tennessee Valley. Clarissa is a newlywed. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, hanging out with friends, traveling, and cooking.

On her top five list of favorite things: two hour naps, shoe sales, singing loud and very off key in the car, old Disney movies, and playing with her terribly spoiled pooch Elle.

Email Clarissa a story idea to clarissa.mcclain@whnt.com.

Recent Articles
  • cecil-ashburn

    Community input prompts changes to Cecil Ashburn Drive widening project

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A major road project will start next year. It’s expected to cause headaches for thousands of drivers. Some of you know from first-hand experience that Cecil Ashburn Drive is at capacity. “A lot of people think it’s just the two intersections on both ends and if we fix that, we’ll fix the problem,” says Kathy Martin, Director of City Engineering for Huntsville. “But really, you’re just letting more traffic through and you’re moving the bottleneck further up […]

  • chick-fil-a

    Secret donor pays for Chick-Fil-A customers’ meals at Parkway Place Mall

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Just imagine you’re at the mall. It’s packed and you’re trying to get all of your last-minute shopping done. Then, you realize you’re hungry. So, you head over to the food court and decide on Chick-Fil-A. This is where things take an unexpected turn, when it comes time to pay for the food. Several hundred guests got a surprise treat today during the busy lunch rush – a free meal. “I was very surprised,” said Tebeckia Bates, who was one […]

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    Madison native organizes Plates of Plenty meal delivery to the homeless the day after Christmas

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The holidays are a joyous time for many of us, full of big family meals and gift exchanges. However, there’s another side to that. It’s also a reminder for some of what they don’t have or what’s missing from their lives. Sarah Hunt-Blackwell saw a homeless person on her way to work and decided that she was tired of just passing them by. She came up with an idea to bring the hope of the holidays […]

  • free2be

    Free2Be rebuilds after tornado damage forces them out of former office

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  – There are many people still getting things put back together after the tornadoes in late November. The storm forced the non-profit, Free2Be, out of its office. It damaged the building so bad, they couldn’t even go inside. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward as they start over. In a week’s time, Free2Be went from a condemned space to a new one. “That was totally unexpected because it has everything we need,” says CEO James Robinson. When the […]

  • central-school-pto

    Central School PTO and Wears Chapel church members help neighbors recover after the storm

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s been almost a week since a tornado tore through a Madison County neighborhood. While many of us are able to go on with our daily lives, folks are still struggling. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to one of the groups helping them rebuild their property and lives. You know that saying, “There are too many cooks in the kitchen.” Well, well, in this case, at Wears Chapel Baptist Church on Ryland Pike, there can never […]

  • dk-wildfires-2

    Community support and donations fueling firefighters on Lookout Mountain

    MENTONE, Ala. – Being a firefighter isn’t an easy job. They risk their lives to protect us. First wildfires, then a prominent business burned last week. It’s been a rough stretch for firefighters in the North Lookout Mountain Volunteer Protection District. WHNT News 19 drove over there with what we hoped would be a reassuring gesture. “I’ve been with the department for going on 17 years and I’ve never seen nothing like this with the dry weather and amount of […]

  • joseph-one-wish-food-drive

    Woodville boy selflessly replaces birthday gifts with food drive donations

    WOODVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – If you ask most little kids what they want for their birthday, you can guess the answer. They typically would say something like dolls, toys, video games, bikes or spending money for more toys. The list could go on and on. There’s one child that just wants to help other people, even on his special day. As soon as you come in the front office at Woodville High School and walk down the halls, you’ll see […]

  • one-table

    Today’s the “One Table” Thanksgiving event on the courthouse square, and you’re invited

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A busy downtown street will close today for a special community event, and you’re invited to join in.  One Table is a city-wide Thanksgiving potluck that is open to everyone.  It’s from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. next to the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville. “What we plan to do is close off the street from the intersection of Northside Square and Westside Square to Southside Square and put one big table down the middle of the […]

  • blow-art

    Happy Artist Program gives special needs artists a chance to shine

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  This week’s Pay it Forward recipient is the Happy Artist Program at Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center. It gives artists with special needs a place to belong and a chance to shine! Blow art is the lesson on the day WHNT NEWS 19 visited a class. One thing instructor Jen Dicarlo teaches her art students each time they meet is how to be themselves. “Working with students with special needs, we make sure that with these […]

  • microwave-dave music education foundation

    Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation exposing kids to music early

    Decatur, Ala. (WHNT) – Music is a powerful teaching tool. One local organization truly believes that and is making sure students in our area are exposed to it as much as possible. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to the Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation. Music reaches deep. It teaches, inspires and uplifts. “It’s been essential as long as I can remember,” says musician Microwave Dave. Music teaches and inspires. “We really want to help these students with the creative […]

  • loads-of-love

    Loads of Love Laundry Project helps the homeless and low income families

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Most of us dread doing laundry. However, if you have a washing machine and dryer in your home, you’re in a better position than a lot of people. Taking your clothes to get cleaned is a task, and it can be costly.  One grassroots group is working to lighten the load, literally and spiritually. That hum of a washing machine is a familiar sound for many of us, as it removes the dirt and stains from […]

  • justin-franks

    Alabama A&M student starts a food pantry to help classmates in his dorm

    Normal, AL. (WHNT) – This week’s Pay it Forward recipient is young and very motivated. Justin Franks is only a college student, but has a lot to teach us about compassion and service. Franks keeps busy as a full time student at Alabama A&M University, desk assistant at the Foster Complex on campus and fast food restaurant manager. Even with all of that on his plate, he’s managed to find time to do something else – something that recognizes and […]