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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
  • The Caring House

    The Caring House helping children grieve in a healthy way

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – When someone dies, it’s really an awful thing to deal with for those left behind. One organization making sure kids in Madison County aren’t forgotten during the difficult grieving process. WHNT NEWS 19 pays it forward to The Caring House of Hospice Family Care. When kids lose someone, grief can get ugly. That’s what The Caring House of Hospice Family Care wants to prevent. “What we do is provide a creative and safe place for kids […]

  • DrowingAndRace

    Taking Action Special Report: Drowning & Race

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Drownings are devastating. Unfortunately, they happen often. Just this year, WHNT NEWS 19 reported on nine drowning deaths involving people in the Tennessee Valley. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. Males, children ages 1 to 4 and minorities are most at risk. WHNT NEWS 19 is Taking Action to make sure you understand how serious of an issue […]

  • Women Betrayed Rally

    Protesters gather at Women Betrayed rally in Huntsville

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  Standing up for what’s right. A small, but passionate group of people rallied outside of the Alabama Women’s Center in Huntsville today. They’re anti-abortion and against Planned Parenthood, after harsh accusations and videos surfaced of the organization selling fetal body parts. Protestors in Huntsville joined others across the country in the Women Betrayed rally. The signs they held up have a clear message – they want to stop abortion and the sale of body parts. “We […]

  • Good Samaritans of Huntsville

    Good Samaritans of Huntsville providing food, supplies to people in need

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Feeding people, passing out hygiene items and getting homeless people off the streets and into housing – that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways our Pay it Forward recipient is helping the homeless in Huntsville. Jennifer Banks sent WHNT NEWS 19 an email, which reads in part: “Penny McGlathery works day and night, in spite of her own health issues, and uses her personal  money for the ones less fortunate.  […]

  • This picture is from the 2014 GirlChic Boutique, which was held at Sparkman High School.

    GirlNaturale empowering girls to love and embrace their natural selves

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s okay to be your natural self. That’s the message one local non-profit is spreading in our community. GirlNaturale is empowering girls and young women to love and embrace themselves. WHNT NEWS 19 surprised them with a Pay it Forward, as they’re gearing up for a big event. For Bridget and Victoria Jones, this is more than just a storage unit. “Pretty much, this right here is like ground zero,” describes Bridget Jones. It’s filled with […]

  • Sherry Kolodziejczak

    Crestwood therapist passionate about volunteering, giving back to others

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Seven. That’s the number of boards and/or committees this week’s Pay it Forward recipient serves on. Eighteen represents the number of subjects she presents workshops on in the community. From her job as an occupational therapist at Crestwood Therapy Services to her other job as a community servant, obviously Sherry Kolodziejczak stays busy. She says a deep passion for helping others is what drives her, not recognition, which is why we had to come up with […]

  • RocketChef111014-0010

    Rocket Chef culinary competition returns to Merrimack Hall on August 10th

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Rocket Chef is returning to Huntsville this August. The event features four talented chefs, cooking under time restraints, using mystery ingredients. This unique fundraiser benefits the Food Bank of North Alabama and Merrimack Hall’s Johnny Stallings Arts Program. WHNT NEWS 19 introduces you to this year’s competitors. Chef Steven Bunner from 1892 East is a Huntsville native and says he will enjoy cooking on stage at Merrimack Hall. “I’m not a very shy person,” says Bunner. […]

  • crestwood gift shop

    Random acts of kindness at Crestwood Medical Center

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Sometimes it’s nice to just do something for someone else not for any particular reason, just because. That’s what WHNT NEWS 19 did this week at Crestwood Medical Center. We surprised people with random acts of kindness. First, we headed to the cafeteria. Many folks were pleasantly surprised to find out that lunch was on us! “You don’t have to pay today,” the cashier told one woman. “Oh, thank you!” she replied. It didn’t take us […]

  • Shelia Burnett

    Grissom High School cafeteria manager rewarded for generous efforts

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – School may be out for most students, but some folks are working to make sure kids get what they need year round. Shelia Burnett is one of them. She manages the cafeteria at Grissom High School and treats the kids like they’re her own. John Ward told us about Burnett in his nomination email. He writes, “Shelia is a very hard worker, but what makes her so deserving is that she never lets a child go […]

  • Sandy Cross

    Huntsville Hospital R.N. creates the Breast Cancer Patient Assistance Fund

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Getting a breast cancer diagnosis is really hard. Navigating the process also has its challenges, including financial ones. One woman’s job is to help patients get through those hardships. WHNT NEWS 19  went to Huntsville Hospital to Pay it Forward to a special R.N. named Sandy Cross. Several times a week, registered nurse Sandy Cross meets with newly diagnosed cancer patients at Huntsville Hospital’s Women’s Pavilion. Her goal is to be their guide. “As the breast […]

  • second chance animal shelter

    Second Chance Animal Shelter committed to finding homes for stray dogs

    BOAZ, Ala. (WHNT) – A Marshall County couple’s passion is saving dogs from dying and finding them good homes. In 2008, they started the Second Chance Animal Shelter in Boaz. After receiving two email nominations about the McGees, WHNT NEWS 19 headed to Boaz to Pay it Forward. From puppies with precious faces to older dogs with somber eyes from years of being overlooked, the Second Chance Animal Shelter in Boaz is where they’ve ended up. Hundreds of abandoned or […]

  • marshall county guardianship program

    Marshall County Guardianship Program helps care for elderly citizens

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – There are so many elderly people who get abused, neglected or don’t have anyone to properly care for them. They deserve better. The Marshall County Guardianship Program is filling in that gap. The Marshall County Guardianship Program is helping older adults, who have been deemed incompetent by the probate court. The non-profit provides legal volunteer guardians to serve and support the person. “It’s our citizens of Marshall County and a lot of them are elderly,” says […]


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