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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
  • Decatur Youth Enrichment

    Decatur Youth Enrichment program preparing children for the future

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Preparing children for the future, helping them stay out of trouble and in school, and exposing them to the arts and different U.S. cities are some of the goals of the non-profit program Decatur Youth Enrichment. Maxine Ellison is an educator at heart. “Anyone that’s ready to learn, we take them in,” says Ellison, Decatur Youth Enrichment President. Ellison taught for decades in the traditional classroom. Now, even in retirement, she’s still teaching life lessons to […]

  • athens warming station

    Athens warming station providing shelter from the cold

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been brutally cold around here lately. Not everyone has a warm place to stay. That’s where the Beasley Center in Athens comes in. Pay it forward is about helping people and empowering those who are already helping the needy. When we give away $319, it’s not just about the money. This story is one example of how it will touch lives. “1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let us not love in word or talk […]

  • COG-ME

    COG-ME exposing children to the world of music

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Music has the power to change a child’s life. That belief is the driving force behind COG-ME, which stands for Community, Opportunity and Generosity through Music Education.  WHNT NEWS 19 pays it forward to the organization that’s exposing children to the world of music. Music is magical. At least that’s how it feels when 13-year old Anthony Gordillo plays his violin. “It makes you feel good,” says Gordillo. “It makes you feel like you’re in a […]

  • buyer beware

    Buyer Beware: What you should know about online shopping before you click ‘purchase’

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many of us work hard and want to enjoy the fruits of our labor. WHNT NEWS 19 is Taking Action to make sure when you decide to splurge, you don’t get ripped off. Like many people, I enjoy shopping and I definitely love a good deal. After seeing a tempting ad on social media and a very low price, I decided to take a risk and buy a dress from an online retailer that claimed to […]

  • Jentzen to the Rescue

    Jentzen to the Rescue blessing families in the Huntsville Regional NICU

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Sometimes real superheroes live in the hearts of small babies fighting big battles. There’s an incredible story behind that statement. Superheroes come in many forms. On August 15, 2014, the world welcomed a tiny, but mighty force. “We couldn`t be more proud to be his parents,” says Lauren Risner. Jentzen Caleb Risner spent his short time on earth in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children (NICU). When he passed […]

  • Buyer Beware: What to know about online shopping so you don’t get ripped off

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Online shopping is convenient, budget friendly and full of choices. But before you click on that tempting ad on social media or buy anything, WHNT NEWS 19 is Taking Action to make sure you don’t get ripped off. Online advertisers flood potential shoppers with tempting pictures and prices, especially on social media. Often times, the products and clothing items are deeply discounted. While you may get a good deal, you may also get a product that […]

  • bags of blessings

    Bags of Blessings aims to keep kids focused on school, not hunger

    NEW HOPE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many kids arrive at school on Monday mornings ready to focus on their school work, not battle stomach aches. That’s because of dedicated volunteers that make sure they have food to eat over the weekend. WHNT NEWS 19 pays it forward to Bags of Blessings. WHNT NEWS 19 showed up at one of the monthly packing operation at The Care Center in New Hope. Before things get started, the night begins with some perspective from […]

  • bbb

    BBB warns businesses not to click links in email scam

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses not to click on an email that claims to be a BBB standard business questionnaire. The email was sent out this morning to what is believed to be tens of thousands of businesses across the country. The email has a ZIP file attachment that links to a site that can download malware on the user’s computer. “As soon as we heard about the scam, we immediately notified our security […]

  • New Futures, Inc. Family Lodge helping people start over

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The mission of the New Futures, Inc. Family Lodge in Huntsville is helping families in crisis. Darrell Thompson nominated Jerilyn Johsnon. Thompson had great things to say about her in his email. It reads, in part: “Ms. Johnson has dedicated her time, money, and energy to meet each and every need and still finds time to go to school and work a full time job.” WHNT NEWS 19 toured the lodge and paid it forward to […]

  • anne fraiser 2

    Longtime Butler High School clerical assistant and crossing guard recognized

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Loving, caring and giving are just some of the words used to describe Anne Frasier. The longtime clerical assistant and crossing guard at Butler High School does a lot to help the students. Now, her efforts are being recognized. WHNT NEWS 19 surprised her with a Pay it Forward. Anne Frasier is used to people coming in and out of Butler High School on a daily basis, but she wasn’t expecting us to show up with […]

  • lil susie small animals in need fund

    Lil’ Susie Small Animals in Need Fund Helping Pet Owners in Dire Straits

    MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) – Pet lovers, can you imagine if something happened and you couldn’t afford to get your pet the care it needed? That’s not a good place to be in. One woman in Lawrence County and a host of supporters are trying to keep as many people as possible from being in that situation. We received a nomination email about Debra Amos, the founder  of Lil’ Susie Small Animals in Need Fund. The group helps pet owners in […]

  • house fire

    Huntsville Fire and Rescue Captain gives tips to prevent winter fires

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  As the temperatures go down, the risk of a fire goes up.  WHNT NEWS 19 is Taking Action to make sure you know how to heat your home safely this winter. Having your home’s heating system checked, making sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and creating an emergency evacuation plan can be very helpful if there is an emergency. When it comes to preventing winter fires, Huntsville Fire & Rescue Captain Frank McKenzie […]


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