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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
  • weekend-food-bags

    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 […]

  • pif safe kids

    WHNT News 19 surprises parents getting car seats installed at Huntsville Hospital

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Being a parent is the best job in the world and it can be expensive. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to parents coming to get their car seat installed at the Safe Kids station at Huntsville Hospital. They had appointments, but had no idea our cameras would be there or that we were paying it forward. First up, $100 for first time parents – the O’Malleys. “Oh my gosh!” gasps Lauren O’Malley. “It’s awesome. I didn’t […]

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    Huntsville woman receives $319, Pays it Forward to two others

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) —  $319, three unsuspecting people and a really cute little girl. That’s what happened when Clarissa McClain surprised a Huntsville woman. WHNT NEWS 19 showed up to a Nurturing Moment in south Huntsville with our cameras rolling looking for Amanda Argo. After walking in and seeing the alarmed look on her face, we explained ourselves quickly. “That is so awesome!” says Argo. We handed over the cash with stipulations. Argo received $119 and was given two $100 […]

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    Law enforcement officers’ wives prepare care packages for families

    ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Being a law enforcement officer is a tough job. Especially now, with all the tension going on in our country. Unfortunately, several officers have lost their lives in the line of duty – in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Kansas City. Even though those cities and conflicts are miles away from north Alabama, the compassion for the families of those fallen officers isn’t. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to a group of women showing support during […]

  • Roc the Lot

    ROC the Lot event brings community together and provides free school supplies

    RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Redemption Outreach Church and the Russellville Dream Center recently held the fourth annual “ROC the Lot” event. On Saturday, July 23rd, they gave away hundreds of free backpacks to kids. Someone told WHNT NEWS 19 about their efforts to get kids ready for school, so we surprised them as they were getting the bags ready. “This year we are doing binders, notebooks, paper pencils and glue sticks,” says event organizer Grace Mason. Mason says they put […]

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    Ardmore hair stylist treats nursing home residents with extra care

    Ardmore, TENN. (WHNT) – Have you ever met someone that just keeps going and going and going? It just seems like their energy and passion for life never stops. Mildred Mitchell is one of those people and WHNT NEW 19 Pays it Forward to her. “She just gives, gives and gives and we’re just so thankful that she’s here with us,” says Brandon Whitesdie, Ardmore Health & Rehabilitation Administrator. Mildred Mitchell breathes energy into the halls of Ardmore Health and […]