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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
  • chemo care bags

    Chemo Care Bags Filled with Candy, Supplies and Love

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Chemotherapy is not an easy thing to deal with. Every little bit of support helps patients at the Clearview Cancer Institute in Huntsville. WHNT NEWS 19 went there to Pay it Forward to a woman who’s doing something to add hope to the difficult process. On a conference room table at CCI is a basket full of chemo care bags. In them are lemon sticks candy, lotion, chap stick and note pads for patients to take […]

  • one place of the shoals

    One Place of the Shoals Connects Victims with Resources

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Being the victim of domestic violence, rape or sexual abuse is traumatic. Sometimes, getting to all the resources can be very difficult too. That’s why One Place of the Shoals was created. WHNT NEWS 19 viewer Tim Glover nominated Angie Hamilton, an Assistant District Attorney in Lauderdale County, who was instrumental in the program’s development. Glover’s email reads in part: “Angie is the driving force behind the purposed One Place, which would house all the victim […]

  • St. John A.M.E. Church Soup Kitchen Serving Food and Compassion

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – One Huntsville church is on a mission to show compassion to those in need. St. John A.M.E. Church members are doing it in the form of food, providing free bowls of soup and sandwiches, at least once a month. WHNT NEWS 19’S Clarissa McClain saw the church’s sign, inviting people to come on in! That’s what she did and brought a Pay it Forward surprise with her. The cooks in this kitchen are busy, pouring soup, […]

  • mentone pif

    Mentone Volunteer Firefighters Surprised with Pizza Party and Pay it Forward Cash

    MENTONE, Ala. (WHNT) – Mentone is a quaint, small town. With a population of a few hundred people, there’s an even smaller population that is constantly at work – the volunteer firefighters. After they battled the blaze that destroyed the historic Mentone Springs Hotel in early March, one business owner wanted to recognize them for their efforts that day and every other day of the year. “Their diligence and their commitment to the community,” says Cynthia Stinson when describing what […]


    Gas Inspectors Participate in Training at Leak City

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – An important training program took place this week in Athens. Around 20 natural gas inspectors and pipeline investigators from all over the United States are participating in the training at Leak City, a one-of-a-kind, small-scale city encompassing 2-1/2 acres that serves as a training facility for natural gas operators. Athens Gas Department Manager Steve Carter says the exercises are designed to simulate real life scenarios. “Sometimes, we have to work lines hot and with working them […]

  • blount hospitality house

    Blount Hospitality House Provides a Home Away from Home

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – No one wants to have a loved one in the hospital, for any period of time. It’s especially hard if you live far away. If you do find yourself in that scenario, there’s a place in Huntsville that’s providing a home away from home. Since 1980, the Blount Hospitality House on Madison Street has been offering people a place to stay during a tough time. WHNT NEWS 19 stopped by for a visit and a surprise. […]

  • animal rescue

    Volunteers Dedicated to Peace, Love and Animals Rescue Organization

    TANNER, Ala. (WHNT) – WHNT NEWS 19 surprised a dedicated volunteer with the animal rescue organization Peace, Love & Animals. The non-profit started in 2009. Around 60 dogs live at the facility in Limestone County. WHNT NEWS 19 found out about volunteer Rose Briener from her co-worker Tammy Barton. Barton emailed us. Here’s a snippet of her nomination describing Briener’s efforts: “Rose nursed a crippled Dachshund by taking him to multiple treatments until he miraculously walked again. She spent nights […]

  • just cause book drive

    Women’s Group Helping Those in Need Just ‘Cause

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Do you ever feel like doing something nice for someone for no reason? One woman in Huntsville does that all year long with the help of a small network of women who also want to make a difference. They’re supporting community projects, Just ‘Cause. WHNT NEWS 19 Viewer Donna Rush sent us this email nominating the group’s founder. It reads in part: “Amy Bellis Jackson researches and selects needs in our community. She is creating a […]

  • Help our homeless veterans and citizens

    Help our Homeless Veterans and Citizens Receives Surprise Cash

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Whether you pay attention or not, whether you like it or not, there are homeless people in our community. Many of them are veterans. One man is on a mission to make sure they get help. WHNT NEWS 19 Viewer Mary Westbrooks nominated Rusty Loiselle, founder of Help Our Homeless Veterans and Citizens. Her email reads: “He spends every waking moment, and probably sleep hours also, helping the homeless of Huntsville. He organizes food, clothing, bedding, […]

  • Free2Teach Resource Store Providing Supplies to Public School Teachers

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Teachers have a very important job. Sometimes, it turns into an expensive one too. Teachers often have to dip into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies. The non-profit organization, Free2Teach, wants to help alleviate some of that financial stress. WHNT NEWS 19 visited the group’s resource store in Huntsville to see what they have to offer and to Pay it Forward. It’s like an educator’s paradise. Glue galore, pens, pencils, and a plethora of […]

  • Woman Says She Spent 9 Minutes in Heaven

    ALTUS, Okla. – An Oklahoma woman said she spent nine minutes in heaven as she flatlined during a medical procedure. Crystal McVea said it happened on Dec. 10, 2009 after she was admitted for a routine medical procedure. An adverse reaction to medication sent the small town teacher and mother of four from Altus, Oklahoma into cardiac arrest. Medical records confirm she flatlined, and she said she experienced heaven in this nine-minute span of time. “The moment my eyes closes there He […]

  • heaven web pic

    Special Report: Nine Minutes in Heaven

    ALTUS, Okla. – Many of us have visions and dreams about what heaven will be like. Sometimes those visions include things like streets of gold, brilliant light, and angels. One Oklahoma woman says she’s seen it for herself. Her account of “Nine Minutes in Heaven” is the focus of a WHNT NEWS 19 special report. Crystal McVea’s brush with death opened her to a whole new world. December 10, 2009 is the day of McVea’s remarkable journey to a place […]


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