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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

Recent Articles
  • 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 […]

  • coupon patrol

    Elkmont Man Creates The Coupon Patrol to Help Needy Families

    ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) – Food, health and beauty products, cleaning supplies are things many of us buy regularly at the grocery store. And the receipt totals can add up quickly. One man in Limestone County is on a mission to get those household goods to those in need and he has a special skill to help. WHNT NEWS 19 received an email from our viewer Amanda nominating Larry Pierce. It reads in part: “Larry Pierce started a group called The […]

  • Inside-Out Ministries Offers People Warm, Caring Place in Cold

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been really cold outside lately, and a lot of times, people are stuck in that dangerous weather with no place to go. One group in Madison is offering an option to folks who need a warm and caring place to seek refuge. During the winter months, as the temperatures dropped, Inside-Out Ministries rose to the occasion, opening its facility on Gin Oaks Court. “It’s important that they have a place they can go and feel safe,” said […]

  • Could you do without your smartphone for even a few hours?

    Powering Off: Excessive Internet and Social Media Use and How to Create a Healthy Balance

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Are you digitally dependent? Many people would say yes and there’s research to prove it. According to a Pew Research Center study from May 2013, 72% of online adults use social networking sites. For some perspective, in 2005, it was a mere 8%. WHNT NEWS 19 sat down with Pavica Sheldon, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts at UAHuntsville, who has spent the last several years researching how people communicate using social media. When asked if there […]

  • Athens-Limestone Foundation for Aging Enhances Existing Organizations

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s an organization in Limestone County devoted to helping other organizations and has been for the past 30 years. The Athens-Limestone Foundation for Aging is usually giving out money and assistance, but this time, the group is on the receiving end. WHNT NEWS 19 was in cahoots with Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks who set up a meeting to surprise Foundation Chair Helen Carter with $319. It’s much needed money for an organization that does so much, […]

  • New hope children's clinic

    Local Children’s Clinic Keeping Kids Healthy & Hopeful

    NEW HOPE, Ala. (WHNT) – A sick child with no access to health care can create issues, like absences from school or social problems. A local clinic, the first of its kind in the state of Alabama, aims to keep kids healthy and hopeful. New Hope Children’s Clinic is a school based health clinic for the student population in southeastern Madison County and it’s open to any child in need. Volunteer physicians and nurses treat at least 500 young patients […]

  • P.O.W.E.R. Mentoring Program Hoping to Expand in North Alabama

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – P.O.W.E.R., Placing Opportunities Within Everyone’s Reach, is the name of a local mentoring program that pairs Alabama A&M University students with kids in the Sparkman or Seminole Boys and Girls Clubs. “We want the children to understand that you can be more than what you see on television and you can aspire to do great things,” says Alabama A&M professor and P.O.W.E.R. founder Rachel Dunbar. Dunbar aims to provide opportunities for kids. “I think a program […]

  • Community Free Dental Clinic

    Community Free Dental Clinic Serving Uninsured Patients with Compassion

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Dental work can be expensive. Without insurance or money to take care of their teeth, many people end up in a lot of pain. The Community Free Dental Clinic in Huntsville is working to alleviate some of that. Ginger Finzel, Community Free Dental Clinic Executive Director, says since its opening, the response has been huge. “We are stunned,” says Finzel. “Nine months and we’ve treated just about 1,100 patients.” Forty-three volunteer dentists along with a team […]

  • Food Bank of North Alabama Helping Fight Hunger During the Holidays

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The holidays are a joyous time, but it can also be a stressful time for families who are already battling hunger year round. When children are not in school, sometimes they’re not eating healthy, balanced meals. In some cases, they’re not eating at all. WHNT NEWS 19 visited the Food Bank of North Alabama to see how the agency is trying to help. “Look at them! They’re just beautiful,” says North Alabama Food Bank Executive Director […]


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