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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
  • 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 the  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 […]

  • blessings in a bacpack

    Blessings in a Backpack feeding more than 1,000 school children in Marshall County

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Eighty dollars may not mean much to some people, but for a program in Marshall County, it goes a long way in making sure school kids don’t go hungry on the weekends. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to Blessings in a Backpack. From empty to elaborate, dozens of volunteers man long tables and stuff food into bags. “It’s a well-oiled machine,” describes Wendy Griffin, Blessings in a Backpack program coordinator. Oatmeal, granola bars, mixed fruit […]

  • Rocket Chef

    Rocket Chef challenges four local chefs, raises money for two local charities

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Four local chefs are putting their talents on display! If you like cooking and competitions, then you’ll love Rocket Chef: A Clash of the Culinary Titans.  The event is a chance to see all the action in person. Four fierce competitors are ready to show off their culinary skills for a cause. The talented Chef Tom Chapman of Nick’s Ristorante is one of them. “My philosophy is to put out good food and make people happy,” […]

  • A Smile for Troops Sending Care Packages to Service Members Overseas

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Making sure men and women serving our country overseas aren’t forgotten is the mission of A Smile for Troops. WHNT NEWS 19 is helping the organization out with that. A Smile for Troops started in February of 2009 when Kiley Kinzer-Henry’s husband was deployed. To help keep his spirits up, she would send him care packages. When she found out there were some people that didn’t get anything, she decided to do something about it. “I […]

  • Ivy Veinot and her quilting sisters

    Quilts sewn with skill and love

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Quilting is an art. For one woman, it’s an act of love. Whether it’s for the Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County or a sick person in her church, Ivy Veinot makes quilts that provide comfort. WHNT NEWS 19’S Clarissa McClain went to Decatur and surprised Veinot with a Pay it Forward. Ivy Veinot already has a plan to for how to spend the $319 to support the ministry that started four years ago. “Oh my […]


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