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Jerry Hayes is in his 36th year at WHNT News 19. He joined WHNT News 19 in March of 1979.

Jerry was born in Nashville, Tennessee. While working on his college degree at Middle Tennessee State University, he landed an internship at WTVF, the CBS affiliate in Nashville. After graduation, Jerry was hired as chief videotape editor in the News Department. In the fall of 1978, he moved to Huntsville. He was hired by WHNT as a reporter, but within a couple of weeks began producing and anchoring the weekend newscasts. After working as 10 o’clock co-anchor and then noon anchor, Jerry was moved to the 6 and 10 main anchor spot in November of 1983.

Jerry has literally been around the world gathering stories for WHNT NEWS 19. He’s reported from the White House and brought stories home from as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia. But some of his favorite memories are of interviewing and getting to know the boys in the band from Fort Payne. Jerry was the first television reporter to interview members of the group Alabama. Jerry loves country music. After all, he’s from Nashville. And in 2008 and 2010, Jerry was invited to be a guest announcer during a live portion of the Grand Ole Opry! He was thrilled to be a part of the radio show that he listened to with his great grandfather on Saturday nights.

Jerry’s been honored with numerous awards during his journalistic career. He’s a seven time Emmy nominee and two time winner! In 2010, he was inducted by the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle. Inductees are honored for their contributions to the television industry for 25 years or more in broadcasting.

Jerry was recognized with the Associated Press Television Award for Best News Anchor in Alabama in 2005 and 2006. And the Alabama Broadcasters Association presented Jerry its Abby award for News Anchor of the Year in 2008, 2011 and 2013. In 2012, he also won an Abby award for a feature story called “A Father’s Love”. Jerry was also honored with a Region 12 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Sports Reporting in 2013.

When Jerry’s not at work, he loves spending time with family. He loves to fish, kayak, play golf and watch his Tennessee Titans! If you ever run into Jerry, say hello. He loves meeting the people who watch WHNT News 19. You can also email him at jerry.hayes@whnt.com.

Recent Articles
  • Chris and Amy George reflect on 10 years of Melissa’s Fund

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – This weekend will mark the 10th annual Miracle Bash and Swim for Melissa. The two events benefit the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. Chris and Amy George set up the fund after one of their twins died shortly after birth in June of 2005. I recently sat down with them in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children to talk about what their daughter’s fund has been able to do […]

  • nicu kids

    10 years of miracles in the NICU

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The 10th annual Miracle Bash and Swim for Melissa are set for August 7th and 8th. The two events raise money for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. Amy and Chris George set up the fund in memory of their daughter who died in 2005 after coming into the world 14 weeks early. Melissa’s twin sister, Ann Catherine lived. Money from Melissa’s fund has helped thousands of babies in the Regional NICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women […]

  • Roger Murrah

    Local songwriter coming home to give back

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – You’ve probably heard Alabama’s number one country song “High Cotton,” but did you know it was written by a Limestone County native? Roger Murrah came home to make a big announcement to help “High Cotton Arts” on the square in downtown Athens. Roger was born and raised on a farm in Athens. The Nashville songwriter is hitting a high note with the local arts community. He’s loaning the family’s 1929 Howard piano to the non-profit art incubator. […]

  • Lauderdale County deputy cruiser

    Lawsuit says Lauderdale sheriff denied inmate access to abortion

    LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. -Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton is facing a federal lawsuit accusing him of denying a woman’s civil rights, specifically, her right to an abortion. The suit names Singleton as the defendant in his official capacity as Sheriff of Lauderdale County. The lawsuit was filed in district court Monday by attorneys for a woman who is an inmate in the Lauderdale County Jail. Her attorneys claims the sheriff is violating her civil rights and is asking a court to […]

  • Join these swimmers and make a splash at the 2015 Swim for Melissa!

    Help tiny babies at the 2015 Miracle Bash and Swim for Melissa, August 7-8

    The Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund is celebrating 10 years of making miracles happen in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. We invite you to be part of this year's major fundraiser.

  • Brody's Story airs Wednesday, July 8 on WHNT News 19 at 10:00 p.m.

    Brody’s Story: WHNT meteorologist and family talk about son’s miracle journey

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Brody Simpson came into the world May 8th, 2015. He was a little early, but his mom and dad, Lacey and Jason, were ready for his arrival. What they weren’t ready for is what the doctors told them after he was born. “That first thing was wrong and then they found this and then this,” Lacey Simpson told us. “It was just a day full of doctors coming in, bad news after bad news.” Brody was perfect […]

  • Ryan Cody, left, and Jerry Hayes, right, hold WHNT News 19's 2015 Associated Press Awards

    WHNT News 19 Honored With Seven Associated Press Awards

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – WHNT News 19 wins seven Associated Press awards for stories and work broadcast during 2014. They were presented during a luncheon at the Birmingham Marriott. WHNT News 19 brought home six First Place awards and one Honorable Mention in the Television Division 2 competition. While the names below represent the winning work that was entered into the contest, we congratulate all of our team members who do their part every day to deliver the news to you […]

  • Two businesses cited for no approved food course certificate

    Didn’t Cut The Mustard: El Charrito Mexican Restaurant, LLC at 3721 Florence Blvd in Florence: Score of 80 Dish machine isn’t sanitizing Food in prep cooler was 53 degrees No one has an approved food course certificate. Joe’s World Famous Pizzeria at 1260 US Hwy 72 Suite G in Athens: Score of 71 Cracked plastic container bins Drink on prep table Dish machine not sanitizing properly Calzone 95, Pizza 110, Meatballs 128 Somewhere Bar & Grill at 3370 AL Hwy […]

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    So you want to be in the movies – Here’s your chance!

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Lights, camera, action! Two local production companies are still looking for several actors  for a film that will be shot in and around the Huntsville area soon. Huntsville’s Ken Arrington is the producer. Laura Ann Heaton Gray is the writer and lives in Muscle Shoals. They hope to start filming at the end of July and there’s a chance the pilot could turn into a series for television. “Come Stay With Me” is the working title […]

  • Memorial Day Concert with sponsor, Venturi

    WATCH: WHNT News 19’s 2015 Memorial Day concert

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – This year, the Association of the U.S. Army and WHNT News 19 teamed up to bring you an event to remember for Memorial Day. We broadcast a community concert from 7 – 8 p.m. on WHNT News 19 and on WHNT.com.  Initially scheduled to be held outdoors at the Veterans Memorial, the concert was moved to the VBC North Hall because of the threat of rain. Several hundred people attended the evening of remembrance, featuring country […]

  • (Photo: David Schmidt/WHNT News 19)

    Family says Huntsville man injured in trooper-involved shooting suffered from mental illness

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Huntsville man was injured in a trooper-involved shooting Friday morning on Old Madison Pike, just off Interstate 565.  This happened after the trooper pulled over the man, Jonathan MacKovjak, for going 100 miles per hour eastbound on the interstate, according to troopers. Trooper spokesperson Curtis Summerville said MacKovjak, 38, exited I-565 east on Old Madison Pike.  The trooper walked up to the car and made contact with MacKovjak, asking for his driver’s license.  MacKovjak started […]

  • veterans memorial park

    Free concert set for Huntsville’s Veterans Memorial Park May 25

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – May 25. Mark that date on your calendar. It’s Memorial Day, and this year, the Association of the U.S. Army and WHNT News 19 will bring you an event to remember. Though the sound of water filled fountains is about all you hear right now at Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Huntsville, come Memorial Day, the sound of music will fill the air. Concert Organizer Max Bennett tells us, “We have country music. We have gospel […]


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