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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
  • Red Bank VFD

    Industrious, Caring Red Bank Fire Chief Surprised at Regular Meeting

    TOWN CREEK, Ala. (WHNT) – The Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department’s annual budget is just over $15,000. It’s not much, but it’s not stopping them from doing good things. WHNT NEWS 19 went to the small community in Lawrence County to Pay it Forward. There are a lot of people in that community who think highly of Fire Chief Charles Krugh and his commitment to the fire department. Captain Charles Lash describes Chief Charles Krugh as an industrious leader. “He […]

  • hugo bates

    Julian Newman Students and Parents Greeted with a Smile and Sweet Treat

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s a special greeter at Julian Newman Elementary School in Athens. He’s 76 years old and has been a staple at the school for years. A woman whose grandchildren go to school there wanted us to Pay it Forward to him. So, the self-professed “night owl” Clarissa McClain got up bright and early to surprise Hugo Bates. For dozens of kids and their parents at Julian Newman Elementary School, the day begins with a smile, greeting, […]

  • Thin line support

    Thin Line Support Leads Grassroots Effort to Support First Responders in Need

    HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) – First responders help us when we need it, whether it’s paramedics, law enforcement officers or firefighters. What happens when they need help? A special group, called Thin Line Support, steps in during those difficult times. Two people nominated Thin Line Support founders, Mark and Kathy Hooper. Melody Harwell met them after her husband, a firefighter, was in a car accident. Brent Beavers, a former Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy, had two encounters with them. “Kathy and […]

  • homegrown violent extremists

    FBI Keeps Close Watch on Homegrown Violent Extremists

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s something on the FBI’s radar, day and night, and it should be on yours too. Homegrown violent extremists mask themselves well and for the most part, operate as normal people in our society. However, they pose a serious threat. Homegrown violent extremists are under the radar. “It’s very difficult for us to detect and interject,” says Phillip Celestini, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the national security branch for the FBI’s Birmingham Division. There’s no […]

  • Gordon Mahathey shares his story with us about being diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Taking Action Report: Male Breast Cancer

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – When you hear the words “breast cancer”, most people’s minds gravitate toward women. Hopefully after watching this story, that will change. Men can get it too. One of those men lives in north Alabama and is sharing his experience. WHNT NEWS 19 is taking action to help other men be mindful of the signs and to take it seriously. We all have special dates we remember -birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. For Gordon Mahathey, the life changing […]

  • somerville special needs prom

    Somerville Special Needs Prom Gets Financial Boost

    SOMERVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – For high school kids, the prom is one of the most memorable nights of their young lives.  In Morgan County, the Somerville and Hartselle Civitan Clubs are making sure special needs students in the area get the same experience. One woman in particular works hard to make it a night to remember! WHNT NEWS 19 walked up the ramp to go inside the Old Somerville Courthouse. The Somerville and Hartselle Civitan Club members were meeting to […]

  • sickle cell

    North Alabama Sickle Cell Foundation Bringing Awareness to “Forgotten Disease”

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Sickle cell affects people daily, but advocates say that it’s often considered a “forgotten disease”. One non-profit is working to change that and one woman’s efforts in particular, aren’t going unnoticed. WHNT NEWS 19 recevied a nomination about the North Alabama Sickle Cell Foundation’s Executive Director, Pamela Thompson. Here’s a snippet of the email Wendolyn Crutcher-LaFleur sent us: “Knowledge of one’s sickle cell trait status is perhaps the most effective way to reduce the incidence of […]

  • North Alabama Young Marines

    North Alabama Young Marines Receive Surprise Cash

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Courage, respect and a sense of devotion – That’s what’s being instilled in kids involved in the North Alabama Young Marines. The organization spends a lot of time giving back to the community, but this time, it’s on the receiving end. Sheryl Herron is the executive officer for the North Alabama Young Marines. Herron thought she was at Calhoun Community College for an informational meeting, but she was there for much more. WHNT NEWS 19 surprised […]

  • 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 […]


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