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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
  • shamballa wildlife rescue

    Shamballa Wildlife Rescue Provides Safe Haven for Animals

    WOODVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Rescue, rehab and release. That’s what a couple in Jackson County is dedicated to doing for wild animals in north Alabama. Fawns freely walk around in the wooded area behind the home of John and April Russ. “It’s fun to see them running around and playing,” says April Russ. “They’ll take off in here sometimes just streaking back and forth,” adds John Russ. In 2012, their eight and a half acre property became Shamballa Wildlife Rescue. […]

  • suspended coffee

    Suspended Coffee Movement Happening in Decatur

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) –  Paying for the person’s food in the car behind you  or buying your coffee and the coffee of the person in line after you has been done before. Have you heard of suspension?  Suspended Coffee Decatur is adding a twist to the Pay it Forward concept. Volunteers are hoping to start a positive movement in the River City. There’s a lot going on behind the counter at Java Jaay Cafe in Decatur. Coffee is brewing and […]

  • SARTEC K-9 Unit

    SARTEC K-9 Search and Rescue Unit Serving the Community

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – If someone you love goes missing, you want to find them as soon as possible. Searches require resources. There’s one group that’s ready to respond when called on for help. The SARTEC K-9 Unit is an all-volunteer unit based in Madison County. They assist law enforcement agencies and emergency services organizations. When WHNT NEWS 19 showed up at one of the training exercises, a dog named Crato was searching through a woods for a moving target. […]

  • J.F. Drake State sets renewed focus on excellence in new semester

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A new semester began Monday at J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College.  There’s a new acting president and a renewed focus on excellence. Students have plenty of options to propel them into their dream job, including students still in high school. “We have one of the only two satellite tracking stations in America that tracks the four-inch CubeSat 55 — the little miniature satellites,” said Dr. John Reutter, Drake State’s acting president.  “We’re going to be able […]

  • Sheffield bread ministry

    Sheffield Church Serving Community Through Bread, Feeding Ministry

    SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – Feeding people physically and spiritually, and doing it with compassion is the mission of a Shoals church. Every week, members of Abundant Grace Church go outside the church building to reach people in need. Steven Pochop says he isn’t your typical pastor. “Because I’m an ex-alcoholic, ex-drug addict and I’ve been homeless,” explains Pochop. “I’ve been in jail 48 times and prison twice. God saved me in prison and the day he saved me in prison […]

  • Christian Women's Job Corps of Madison County to begin Spring 2015 semester

    Christian Women’s Job Corps of Madison County Helping Women Move Forward in Life

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – WHNT NEWS 19 made Elaine Dickson’s day when we showed up with $319 in cash! She’s part of an organization that’s helping women do so many positive things. That could be getting a GED, landing a scholarship, finding a job or improving their resume. The Christian Women’s Job Corps of Madison County is truly motivating women to be the best they can be. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans […]

  • special olympics golf team

    Special Olympics Golf Team Receives Money to Help with Upcoming Tournament

    FAYETTEVILLE, TN (WHNT) -Many folks enjoy hitting the greens. In Tennessee, one man dedicates a great deal of his time and money to making sure disabled adults get to enjoy the game of golf. Sherry Carter nominated Bill Daniels, the Special Olympics golf team’s head coach. She sent us an email that reads, in part: “Bill Daniels provides transportation and is constantly trying to raise funds for the team. Bill says that what he gets back from the team is […]

  • merrimack hall dance your dreams

    Merrimack Hall Offers Fun, Artistic Opportunities for Special Needs Children

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Dance camps, art classes, and yoga are all activities kids participate in during the summer. There’s a place in Huntsville where special needs children get to enjoy the same things! Kerry Burden nominated Merrimack Hall. Her daughter is in the Dance Your Dreams program. In her email, Burden writes: “It is the most amazing program I have ever seen and I never make it through a performance without tears. Merrimack Hall has successfully created a program […]

  • clothe our kids

    Clothe Our Kids Helping Needy Children in Lincoln County

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ten. (WHNT) – Many of us get dressed in the morning and go on about our day, not even realizing what a luxury that is. Many people don’t have proper clothing and that includes children. Two women in Fayetteville are making sure kids in need get help. Linda Reed nominated the Clothe Our Kids founders. Here’s a snippet of what she wrote in her email to WHNT NEWS 19: “No one has touched me quite like these two young […]

  • Scam Alert: Credit Mules Using New Approach with Cell Phones

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – There are so many bad guys looking to use your information to their advantage. Have you heard of credit mules? Scammers basically use you and your credit. In this latest scheme, it involves cell phones. Someone offers you money if you go buy them a cell phone and enter a contract on their behalf. The problem is, they get the phone and are long gone. Then, you get stuck with the bill. “Unfortunately what’s going to […]

  • 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 […]


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