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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
  • 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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

  • one-table

    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 […]