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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
  • God's Feral Felines

    God’s Feral Felines Working to Reduce Feral Cat Population

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Humane Society estimates the number of feral cats in the U.S. to be around 50 million. One group is tackling the issue head on in cities across Marshall County. We received a nomination about Pam Keck, the founder of God’s Feral Felines. David Currey wrote, “Pam Keck and her volunteers are trapping feral cats and local vets are spaying and neutering them and giving them rabies vaccinations. Then, they are returned to where they were […]

  • Santa’s Helpers Helping Children in Need Year Round

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A Madison County couple started Santa’s Helpers out of their home seven years ago. Now, they’re helping hundreds of children in need. While most of the giving happens during the Christmas season, they supply toys and bikes year round. “If we can help turn one child’s life around by doing this, that’s what we’re after,” says founder Barbara Thomas. Thomas and her husband came up with the idea to help kids years ago. Santa’s Helpers has grown […]

  • nina thrash

    Veteran DeKalb Co. Educator Nina Thrash Receives Recognition

    RAINSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – 56 years and still going strong. One DeKalb County woman has spent that amount time doing something she’s passionate about – teaching. Nina Thrash has taught hundreds of students over the last five decades. One of them wanted to recognize her efforts. Alice Walker sent us an email about Nina Thrash. Here’s part of what is said: “Her main concern is to make sure people get their GED and walk across the stage. She pushed me […]

  • Subway Restaurant Ratings

    Excessive Flies an Issue at Local Restaurant

    Didn’t Cut the Mustard, June 19, 2014 In & Out Mini Mart at 30697 U.S. Hwy 72 in  Madison: Score of 80 Hood Outside dripping, grease pooling on ground. Failing Septic System. Ham and cheese at 50F. Subway #39279 (inside Wal-Mart) at 1450 North Brindlee Mountain Pkwy in Arab: Score of 77 Toxic item bottle stored on shelf over food stock. Excessive flies. Chicken at 52, turkey at 47. Employee drink cups on prep table and utensil stock shelf.  Golden […]

  • Huntsville Hospital Cafeteria

    Paying it Forward by Paying for Lunch at Huntsville Hospital Cafeteria

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  When you have a loved one in the hospital, it can be stressful and expensive. For employees, working around sick people every day can take a toll too. WHNT NEWS 19 decided to do something nice for them by buying lunch one day. It’s something small, but it made a big difference. We immediately starting giving out the $319 at the Huntsville Hospital cafeteria. “That is wonderful,” said one man who was at the hospital because […]

  • LifeSource Inc.

    LifeSource, Inc. Helping People Reach Their Full Potential

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Helping people reach their full potential in life is the mission of LifeSource, Inc. in Decatur. A WHNT NEWS 19 viewer nominated its founder, Robin Ladner. In her email, Susan Crittenden, writes: “Robin has spent hours upon hours counseling and working with men and women that have been released from jail or prison, substance abusers, and those just needing direction and guidance. Robin’s passion for offering a positive and permanent life change to all is so […]

  • cabelas400

    New retail development with Cabela’s to be built near Bridge Street

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Cabela’s Incorporated announced plans to open its first Alabama store.  Cabela’s is a retailer focusing on hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. Wednesday afternoon, city leaders described the store as “new,” “major” and “a catalyst for things to come.”  It’s the company’s first store in Alabama, and it will be located in the new Parkside Town Centre development to be built near Bridge Street Town Centre. Specifically, Parkside is just off Governors West, south of Old Madison […]

  • Red Bank VFD

    Industrious, Caring Red Bank Fire Chief Surprised at Regular Meeting

    TOWN CREEK, Ala. (WHNT) – The Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department’s annual budget is just over $15,000. It’s not much, but it’s not stopping them from doing good things. WHNT NEWS 19 went to the small community in Lawrence County to Pay it Forward. There are a lot of people in that community who think highly of Fire Chief Charles Krugh and his commitment to the fire department. Captain Charles Lash describes Chief Charles Krugh as an industrious leader. “He […]

  • hugo bates

    Julian Newman Students and Parents Greeted with a Smile and Sweet Treat

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s a special greeter at Julian Newman Elementary School in Athens. He’s 76 years old and has been a staple at the school for years. A woman whose grandchildren go to school there wanted us to Pay it Forward to him. So, the self-professed “night owl” Clarissa McClain got up bright and early to surprise Hugo Bates. For dozens of kids and their parents at Julian Newman Elementary School, the day begins with a smile, greeting, […]

  • Thin line support

    Thin Line Support Leads Grassroots Effort to Support First Responders in Need

    HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) – First responders help us when we need it, whether it’s paramedics, law enforcement officers or firefighters. What happens when they need help? A special group, called Thin Line Support, steps in during those difficult times. Two people nominated Thin Line Support founders, Mark and Kathy Hooper. Melody Harwell met them after her husband, a firefighter, was in a car accident. Brent Beavers, a former Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy, had two encounters with them. “Kathy and […]

  • homegrown violent extremists

    FBI Keeps Close Watch on Homegrown Violent Extremists

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s something on the FBI’s radar, day and night, and it should be on yours too. Homegrown violent extremists mask themselves well and for the most part, operate as normal people in our society. However, they pose a serious threat. Homegrown violent extremists are under the radar. “It’s very difficult for us to detect and interject,” says Phillip Celestini, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the national security branch for the FBI’s Birmingham Division. There’s no […]

  • Gordon Mahathey shares his story with us about being diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Taking Action Report: Male Breast Cancer

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – When you hear the words “breast cancer”, most people’s minds gravitate toward women. Hopefully after watching this story, that will change. Men can get it too. One of those men lives in north Alabama and is sharing his experience. WHNT NEWS 19 is taking action to help other men be mindful of the signs and to take it seriously. We all have special dates we remember -birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. For Gordon Mahathey, the life changing […]

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