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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
  • hunger after the holidays 2

    Local food bank urges community to remember hunger demand after the holiday season

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – During the holidays, many people are sensitive to the needs of those who are less fortunate. There are lots of food drives and fundraisers, but once that dies down, the need still exists. One local organization is hoping you’ll keep the momentum going. “Hunger is year round unfortunately,” says Kathryn Strickland, executive director of the Food Bank of North Alabama. “We’re so appreciative of all the donations that come in and all the food drives that […]

  • mayor battle

    Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle talks about successes and challenges during 2014

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been a big year for the city of Huntsville. From announcements of new jobs, road projects and developments. WHNT NEWS 19 sat down with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle to discuss this year’s accomplishments and challenges and also what he’s looking forward to in 2015. Mayor Battle is beaming. “As mayor, it’s your job to be proud of your city you know and I am very proud of our city,” says Battle. Rightfully so, 2014 was […]

  • mayor trulock

    Madison Mayor Troy Trulock discusses accomplishments with roads and finances in 2014

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Major road construction, sound finances, a revitalized downtown and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what has taken place over the last 12 months in Madison. Madison Mayor Troy Trulock is proud of what the city has accomplished in 2014. “One is roads and the other is finances for the city,” says Trulock. That’s a critical component for me.” When it comes to roads, the mayor says they have started at […]

  • stockings of hope

    Siblings in Madison create Stockings of Hope for homeless children

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – This week’s Pay it Forward recipients are young, but age isn’t holding them back from being great. Lennon and Kathryn Anderson started Stockings of Hope last year. The brother and sister are committed to making sure kids who are less fortunate get Christmas gifts. WHNT NEWS 19 surprised them at Discovery Middle School in Madison. As Lennon and Kathryn Anderson were checking on their donation boxes, we rounded the corner with cash in hand. Their mother […]

  • snug as a bug blankets

    Snug as a Bug ministry collects over 200 blankets for Madison County kids

    MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Who doesn’t love cuddling up in a good blanket? One woman certainly does with her grandchildren and feels every child should have one to call their own. Last year, Sandy Balch started a ministry called Snug as a Bug. Her goal was to collect new blankets for children. WHNT NEWS 19 received an email about her efforts. Here’s a portion of Debbie Thornton’s nomination: “Sandy Balch collects blankets for school children. Her first year she […]

  • Stepping Stone Shelter

    Stepping Stone Shelter and Rooming House Helping People Start Anew

    BOAZ, Ala. (WHNT) – Whether it’s overcoming a substance abuse problem, starting over after being in jail, or needing help to get through a rough patch in life, the Stepping Stone Shelter and Rooming House in Boaz is a place where people can start anew. A serene setting surrounds the Stepping Stone Shelter and Rooming house in Boaz. For many people, who are trying to hit the reset button in life, it’s home. “It’s an opportunity,” describes 26-year-old Lauren Fraley, […]

  • hartselle m and ms

    Women’s Ministry and Missions Group Stays Busy Helping Those in Need

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Sewing, stuffing holiday stockings, and making quilts for people who are battling a serious illness or substance abuse are just some of the activities that keep one group of ladies in Hartselle busy. They’re part of Hartselle First Assembly of God. WHNT NEWS 19 pays it forward to the church’s women’s ministry and missions group. Sweet and sworn to a life of purpose, they call themselves the M&M’s. Stuffing stockings for children who live on Indian […]

  • God's Glory Thrift Store

    God’s Glory Thrift Store helping community with low priced goods and donations

    SOMERVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A woman in Morgan County is doing her part to help those in need by making sure they have access to clothes, food and other household items for a very low price. WHNT NEWS 19 received more than one email about Rhonda Hamilton and her family’s efforts to give back through the God’s Glory Thrift Store. It’s small, but they’re making a big impact. “We do this to help our community,” explains Rhonda Hamilton, owner of […]

  • keep volunteering

    Keep Volunteering offers support during natural disasters and the weeks after

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – When there’s a disaster, there’s always people willing to jump in and help right away. But what about weeks later? Sometimes, people in need fall through the cracks. Helping them was the motivation behind the local organization. Keep Volunteering started out of a desire to make sure people stay engaged and remember that theĀ  need exists long after a disaster is over. Painting the walls may seem like a little thing, but it’s a big deal […]

  • Madison County Hall of Heroes serves an important purpose

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many of us have been to the Madison County Courthouse to handle business. Have you ever noticed the glass display cases on the first floor? They’re to the left when you walk in. In case you’ve never paid attention to the Madison County Hall of Heroes, WHNT NEWS 19 is giving you an up close look and pays it forward to the group behind this special project. The medals and names enclosed in these glass cases […]

  • Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit

    Dedicated volunteers of Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit ready to respond

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – According to the Land Trust of North Alabama, there are 4,250 caves in Alabama. The majority of them are in Madison and Jackson Counties. Those caves can be dangerous. WHNT NEWS 19 pays it forward to a dedicated group of volunteers that is ready to respond if there’s an emergency. Secure ropes, experienced volunteers and a patient that needs to be lifted to the top of this steep cave. The Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit performs a […]

  • Huntsville Inner City Learning Center

    Huntsville Inner City Learning Center Needs Tutors to Help Kids Grow as Students and People

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Every day at the Huntsville Inner City Learning Center, kids are learning life lessons. The Christian based program is helping kids grow as students and as people. The Center is in need of volunteers for the after-school tutoring program that helps first through seventh graders. The students exercise, study, eat a hot meal and are tutored. The after-school program is Monday through Thursday from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. Students typically need help with reading and math […]


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