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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
  • 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 […]

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    Causeway Huntsville prepares for “One Table” city-wide Thanksgiving potluck

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Thanksgiving is not too far away. It’s a time for families to come together and enjoy a meal. A local non-profit is hoping to take that concept to a whole new level. One Table is a city-wide Thanksgiving potluck that is open to everyone. A busy downtown street will become the setting for something special in November. “What we plan to do is close off the street from the intersection of Northside Square and Westside Square […]

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    H.O.P.E. non-profit gets gowns and green bills during homecoming dress and suit drive

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s homecoming season. If you remember from your time in school or if you are a parent now, it’s expensive. However, it’s also a special occasion! One local non-profit is trying to make it memorable for students at Jemison High School in Huntsville. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward with some gowns and green bills! We met up with H.O.P.E. board members Eric Echoes and Lisa Handback. In short, they want Jemison’s first homecoming to be […]

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    Wreaths for Veterans founder surprised with $319 at a bow making session

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – This holiday season, the graves of veterans will be adorned with remembrance wreaths. Volunteers put thousands of them together, by hand, and lay them on the graves. It’s such a thoughtful gesture for the men and women that thought enough of us to serve and protect our freedoms. WHNT NEWS 19 decided a surprise Pay it Forward was in order and we showed up unannounced at a recent bow making session. “That’s so touching,” says Joy […]

  • Power of Pink Quilt

    Quilt raffle will raise money to support breast health services at Decatur-Morgan Hospital

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward in the River City this week. A woman came up with a way to help patients at Decatur Morgan Hospital. Connie Lawrence works in the mammography center as a mammography technologist. She noticed patients needing financial help and others had certain skills and hobbies. She put them together, organizing an event where they could sell their items. They could make some money and a portion of the sales would go […]

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    Teacher helps distribute weekend food sacks to Morris Elementary students

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Can you imagine not eating for two days? If it weren’t for the generosity of strangers and caring teachers at one local school, there’s no telling how many kids would be in that scenario on the weekends. WHNT NEWS 19 went to Morris Elementary School to surprise Ashley Connor. She’s a math teacher there and helps make sure every kid leaves school on Fridays with food. WHNT NEWS 19 crashed the cafeteria at lunchtime to surprise Connor […]

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    Ardmore mom uses experience in the NICU to support other families

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to a woman who’s giving back to families dealing with a tough situation. It’s one she knows all too well – having a baby in the hospital. Carrie Tyler is from Ardmore, AL and a mother of two. She has a giving spirit which is why she was chosen as a recipient of $319. “We put our heart and soul into this and it means a lot,” says a teary […]

  • Alabama PKU Group in Montgomery

    Alabama PKU Foundation supports families and brings awareness to rare condition

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Did you know September is newborn screening awareness month? Shortly after a baby is born, he or she gets a prick on the foot and it’s sent off to check for all these different conditions. Well, most parents are more upset about the baby crying and being all upset and don’t even think about the outcome of the screening being bad. However, one local family got some tough news a few years ago, but they are […]

  • Kathryn Strickland

    Leadership change at the Food Bank of North Alabama

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Food Bank of North Alabama, based in Huntsville, will be getting a new leader soon. The Food Bank offers hunger relief programs that immediately feed people in need. It also addresses hunger’s root causes through local food initiatives that foster entrepreneurship and healthy food access. It supplies eight million pounds of food a year to a network of over 240 food pantries, shelters and children’s programs in 11 counties. Current Executive Director Kathryn Strickland recently […]

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    Chefs Against Hunger bike ride raising awareness and money for those in need

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Two chefs from two different restaurants in two counties share one goal – to raise awareness about hunger.  They’re organizing a joint charity bike ride and it’s because neither one of them can stand the idea of people, especially kids, going to bed hungry. As the wheels spun on his bike, which is a hobby for Chef Jake Reed of Albany Bistro in Decatur, so did the ones in his head about how to help people […]

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    Madison church uses $319 to help flooding victims in Louisiana

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – A local church with close ties to Louisiana is spearheading an effort to get supplies to flood victims. Many of the people there lost everything and need help. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to Building Church in Madison and shows you how they immediately put it to good use. The pastor of Building Church is from Baton Rouge, which like many parts of Louisiana are under water. Many of his immediate family members live there […]

  • Grocery store donation program saves millions of pounds of food from local landfills

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Each week, you likely go to the grocery to store to shop for food for you and your family. Even after thousands of shoppers stock up, stores still have a lot left over. The Food Bank of North Alabama is making sure that food isn’t going to the garbage, but instead to the homes of people in need. Fresh meat, produce, canned food and dry goods come from grocery stores in 11 north Alabama counties to […]