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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

Recent Articles
  • L to R: Jerry Hayes with Jessica, Kruz, Kyle and Paizlee Davenport. (WHNT News 19)

    Raising money to live with a rare disease now twice as important to Shoals couple

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – A Muscle Shoals couple is sharing their little boy’s story to raise awareness about a life threatening disease. But it recently became twice as important. Kruz Davenport came into the world a little early and he had a rough start. He only weighed 3 pounds and 6 ounces when he was delivered by emergency cesarean section after his heart stopped beating. His mother Jessica says, “He’s a miracle to be here. He wasn’t breathing when he […]

  • L to R: Jerry Hayes with Jessica, Kruz, Kyle and Paizlee Davenport. (WHNT News 19)

    Shoals couple raising money to help children who live with rare disease

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. - A Muscle Shoals couple is sharing their little boy's story to raise awareness about a life threatening disease. But it recently became twice as important.

  • Alabama gas prices could rise 10 to 15 cents per gallon due to pipeline spill

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Two hundred and fifty thousand gallons of gasoline! That’s a lot of fuel. Think about it this way — if your vehicle holds 17 gallons, that’s enough fuel to fill ‘er up 14,705 times! It’s a quarter of a million gallons of gas. That’s how much gas spilled from a pipeline in a rural area near Birmingham, and it could affect the price of gasoline across the entire southeastern United States. Crews are working to repair the pipeline. They […]

  • jerry-nutrition

    Jerry gets some help counting his calories and it’s working!

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. –  You’ve heard it before. You are what you eat. I’ll say amen to that. I’m on a journey to living a healthier lifestyle. That includes eating right. I’ll be honest, changing my eating habits is tougher than the workouts I’m doing in the gym right now. When we’re hungry, we eat. When we eat more calories than we’re burning, we gain weight. And I was tipping the scales at 232 pounds. Part of my getting healthy journey […]

  • Capture

    Jerry Hayes’ new health journey takes him to the gym

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – For nearly a month now, Greg Screws and I have kicked it into high gear when it comes to living healthier lifestyles. We’re changing our eating habits and are focused on working out. We’re early in the journey, but we both needed to make some changes. And to be honest, I’m enjoying being back in a gym. Todd Ziegler is a Huntsville Hospital Wellness Center personal trainer. He’s working with me for the next three months to make […]

  • Jerry Hayes

    Jerry Hayes announces new role in the newsroom

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There comes a time in one’s life when you say to yourself, “It’s time to hang it up and go to the house.” I’m not there yet. No, I’m not retiring and no, I’m not ready to take off the microphone one last time and walk out of the newsroom. But I am ready for a change. For most of the more than 37 years I’ve been blessed to work at WHNT News 19, I’ve been on […]

  • Kandess Anderson, a Huntsville Hospital certified registered nurse, checks Jerry Hayes' vital signs.

    Jerry Hayes begins the journey to get healthy, and invites you to join him

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – I’m on a journey to a healthier lifestyle. This week, I’m taking you along for my first visit with Kandess Anderson, a Huntsville Hospital certified registered nurse practitioner who’ll be closely watching my journey to a healthier me. Here’s my reality check. I’ll never look like I did when I was 25 years old. But that’s okay. Father Time is catching up with me and he’s kicking my you know what. Part of that is my fault. […]

  • Jerry Hayes

    WHNT News 19’s Jerry Hayes embarks on new quest to get healthy

    It’s time to get healthy! I’ve been telling myself that for years but this time, it’s time. Like most of you, I’ve tried to make healthy choices as I get older but they don’t always work. My biggest obstacle may be the shift I work. For most of my career, I’ve worked nights. I don’t go to sleep before 2 a.m. and I sleep late. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to get up and go workout or exercise. […]

  • rr20160804

    Dirty choppers/slicers & personal drinks top critical violations this week

    Didn’t Cut the Mustard: Hardee’s #5548 – (Albertville) at 11024 US Hwy 431 in Albertville: Score of 70 Chemical stored over food stock Drink cup on food stock Broken food contact equipment: fry basket, fry scoop, plastic pan Chicken fingers at 114 F Onion chopper and lettuce/tomato chopper with food residue Paradise Food Mart #3 at 2200 Chisholm Road in Florence: Score of 72 No date marking on ready to eat food -10 day notice and rules reviewed PHF/TCS being held […]

  • RestaurantRatings

    Dirty ice machines found at several local businesses this week

    Didn’t Cut the Mustard: I-65 Truck Stop at 25301 Elkton Rd. in Elkmont: Score of 76 Cooler out. Cream cheese, ham turkey 56 F Opened drink on prep table Fiesta Mexicana at 600 S. Jefferson St. in Athens: Score of 80 PHF in reach in cooler was 52 F Bare hand contact with ready to eat foods Not reheating to 165 F prior to placing in warming units Sonic Drive – In # 3348 at 914 Hwy 72 E. in […]

  • rr07212016

    Critical violations bring low scores for 6 businesses this week

    Didn’t Cut the Mustard: Mike’s Food Mart at 1809 Hwy 72 East in Athens: Score of 79 Drink nozzles need cleaning Cooler out, PHF 0 (cheese & eggs 65) Wok-N-Roll at 115 Edgewood Drive in Florence: Score of 79 Personal drink on cutting board with food – abated by discarding Various types of cooked chicken, pork wontons, no dates – 10 day notice and rules reviewed Various cleaners stored on shelf with paper hand towels, cleaners labeled incorrectly, abated by […]

  • rancho viejo

    WHNT issues apology to restaurants for mixup in recent Restaurant Ratings report

    We want to correct a mistake we made in our Restaurant Ratings report on July 14, 2016. When we listed the critical violations sent to us by health inspectors, we attached the wrong violations to two restaurants. We apologize for the error and want to assure you that the correct violations are below. Our on-air report and web story mistakenly mentioned the wrong critical violations for Fiesta Mexicana in Tuscumbia and Rancho Viejo in Muscle Shoals. Once again, we apologize […]