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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
  • in home shelter

    In-home storm shelters increase after April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – The April 27, 2011 tornadoes brought personal preparedness to the forefront for thousands. No more waiting until the last minute to find a safe place to go. For many people, that included making plans in advance and setting up shelters inside their own homes. WHNT News 19 met with one of the many families that’s not taking any chances when it comes to the severe weather. The Parkers live in western Madison County. While they enjoy […]

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    WHNT seeks Pay it Forward nominations to recognize rising stars in the Tennessee Valley

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – WHNT NEWS 19 is Taking Action to Pay it Forward with a new twist and we need your help! The Tennessee Valley is filled with motivated and generous young people. Help us recognize these rising stars by submitting a nomination. Tell us how they are inspiring others around them and making a difference in their community. Are they collecting supplies for the needy? Did they start an organization that fills a void? Did they display generosity […]

  • unsung hero

    Unsung Hero Scholarship Fund helping kids overcome challenges and thrive

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Many children are blessed with both parents and a supportive home. Because of that, they thrive! But not every child is that fortunate and those obstacles can cause them to struggle in school and life. Maybe it’s the death of a parent, an illness, or having to work full time. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to Jan Matthews, a woman who’s making sure those kids are celebrated and not left behind. Proverbs 22:6 reads: “Train […]

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    Morgan County special needs softball league begins a new season

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – There is a group of people in Morgan County that really looks forward to the months of April and May each year. It’s softball season for special needs individuals. Players, ages five and up, get their gloves out and spirits lifted. WHNT NEWS 19 pays it forward to the woman who makes it happen. The red dirt, white lines, and green grass are all prepped and ready for action at the field at Sparkman School in […]

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    Hartselle Morgan County Community Task Force tutor recognized for ‘tough love’ approach

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The school year is coming to a close, but there is still work to be done. Many of us remember that one teacher in school that really pushed us and wouldn’t let us get away with anything. Tera Tapscott is that teacher for kids that come to the Hartselle Morgan County Community Task Force building for tutoring. WHNT NEWS 19 showed up after school one day to Pay it Forward. Education is the foundation for success, […]

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    Kingslea Merkel Liver Disease Foundation raising awareness and money

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Huntsville woman went from being healthy to hospitalized in a matter of months. Even though she’s battling non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, she’s committed to helping others too. Kingslea Merkel has been dealing with this illness for more than six years. She is on the active liver transplant list, but that’s not all there is to her. Merkel is full of energy and hope! Clementine’s is known in the Huntsville community for its tasty chicken salads. […]

  • We surprised Suzanne Carter with $319, and she said it will go right back to the Athens Animal Shelter.

    Athens Limestone Animal Shelter volunteer recognized

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – She’s a full-time volunteer with a heart full of love and compassion for animals. At the Athens Limestone Animal Shelter, Suzanne Carter is well known and loved. In fact, one woman and the shelter staff were thrilled to see her get recognition. Six years ago, a post on Facebook tugged at Carter’s heartstrings. “I saw the shelter page and there was a little dog that needed a foster home,” recalls Carter. “I went through and someone […]

  • tent city project

    The Tent City Project brings supplies to homeless camps

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Taking the help to the homeless. That’s the goal of one local effort that’s grown from a simple socks and blanket drive to a massive effort to stock those living on the streets with supplies for the entire winter. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to the Tent City Project. After her garage got full of boxes, Amy Mansell and volunteers starting packing this storage unit. “Socks , underwear, clothes, jackets, blankets, food, water, hygiene products, […]

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    Medical procedure provides new, less invasive option for heart patients

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Open heart surgery is a very serious procedure. What if you’re too old or too sick to survive it? In the past, many patients were turned away, forced to deal with some pretty bad symptoms. Now, there are more options. WHNT NEWS 19 explains how one of them works. Henry Mattern is 91 years old and still active. “I try to walk a couple miles a day and I do water exercises,” says Mattern. He didn’t […]

  • Images: Thinkstock

    WHNT News 19 tackles touchy subject of appearance in the workplace

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We have many rights in this country. For example, we have the right to free speech and to bear arms. Do you have the right to choose how you look at your job? A lot of people feel the answer to that question is hands down ‘yes.’ Not so fast! In many professions, mine included as a broadcast journalist, that’s not always an option. My hair, clothes, jewelry, makeup are all subject to management’s approval. WHNT […]

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    Christmas Angels ministry provides gifts for families in need

    HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) – Christmas is next week. Thanks to the efforts of some sweet ladies in Hazel Green, seven families will have gifts under the tree. The volunteer group calls themselves the “Christmas Angels” and is spearheaded by Linda Taylor. Their goal is to make sure it’s merry on Christmas morning. Whether it’s filling bags of candy or organizing presents, these ladies are busy getting gift boxes ready. “It’s really a ministry as well, it’s not just charity,” […]

  • room in the shoals

    Room in the Inn Shoals offers the homeless refuge from the cold

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT)  – It’s only going to get colder in the coming months and not everyone has a warm place to go to escape. A volunteer based group in Florence is stepping up offer options to those without a home. There’s really only one shelter in the Shoals area with 30 beds. Clearly, that’s not enough when there’s roughly 250 people who are considered homeless. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to Room in the Inn Shoals, as they […]


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