• Follow me on:

Jerry Hayes is in his 38th 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. After the tornadoes of April 27, 2011, he began anchoring a new newscast at 6:30 pm. In the fall of 2016, he wanted a change from anchoring the late newscast for more than 30 years. He now co-anchors the 5 and 6:30 newscasts weeknight with Melissa Riopka.

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. He’s interviewed celebrities like Mark Hamill and Carol Burnett. 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, 2006 and 2015. 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 working, he loves spending time with family. That’s especially true now that he is a grandfather! 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
  • NICU Cuddlers: In the arms of angels

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There’s something about holding a newborn baby. For some, it’s hard to find the words to describe the feeling. For others, it’s the most rewarding thing they do. A group of women knows that feeling well. When you walk through the doors at the neonatal intensive care unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children, there’s a sense of hope. Liz Smith calls it, “the most special place in the world.” It’s where miracles happen. “I can never […]

  • Operation Santa Claus hoping to grant Christmas wish of 10-year-old boy

    DECATUR, Ala. – As the holiday season approaches, we’re reminded that some Christmas wishes will be hard to fill. When the Priceville Elementary PTO recently held its trunk or treat, you wouldn’t believe how many folks wanted to be part of the event. David Sharp, Sr. and his wife Vandy wanted to share a little Christmas spirit in October. They dressed up like Santa and the Elf on the Shelf. “We had kids, their eyes would just get as big as […]

  • Huntsville man on the road to a healthier life

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Your health matters to us. That’s why we’re bringing you stories each Monday in our Health Matters segment. We want to bring attention to getting healthier and living a better life. Even though Greg Screws and I are each on our journey to working out and losing weight, doing that can be a challenge for some folks. But there’s help. Let’s face it. Sometimes instead of counting calories, we pack on the pounds. That’s where Huntsville Hospital’s […]

  • Scottsboro boy going to Tuscaloosa for Crimson Wish

    SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – Jaxon Guthrie of Scottsboro is like any other nine year old boy, he loves sports. He says his favorites are “Football or baseball.” And his favorite team, the Alabama Crimson Tide. That’s why Window World, Alabama Athletics, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are giving him and his family a Crimson Wish. They’re sending Jaxon and his family to Tuscaloosa Saturday for a game day they’ll never forget. When asked what he’s looking most forward to, he smiled and […]

  • Shoe repairman says there’s one thing he can’t fix

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Brady’s Shoe Repair has been a South Parkway fixture in Huntsville for more than 30 years.  Steve Brady, 58, is a third generation cobbler. He’s following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who came to America from Ireland in 1905. “By the time I was 13, I was a full time shoemaker doing everything that my father and grandfather were doing,” Steve said. He’s been perfecting his craft for 45 years using many of the same […]

  • Dr. Dee Fowler resigns as superintendent of Madison City Schools; Taking state job

    MADISON, Ala. – Dr. Dee Fowler submitted his resignation as Superintendent of Madison City Schools during a special Madison Board of Education meeting on Wednesday. Dr. Fowler resigned to take a position with the State Superintendent’s office in Montgomery.   The board accepted the position in a 5-0 vote.  His last day on the job in Madison will be November 30. “The resignation of Dr. Fowler is a sudden, but not totally unexpected event,” said Madison City Board of Education […]

  • Huntsville Hospital delivers wellness programs to employers

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Greg Screws and I have been on a journey to living healthier. I’ll admit I feel better.  Between the two of us, we’ve lost almost 50 pounds. We’ve had some help along the way with our lifestyle team from Huntsville Hospital. And some of our coworkers here at WHNT News 19 are now also on the Health Matters train! When Greg and I embarked on our better health journey, we were focusing on losing weight and exercising. We’re […]

  • From broadcasting to books: Linda Spalla enjoying retirement

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – From signing the checks here at WHNT News 19 to signing copies of her latest book, the ride has been magical for Linda Spalla. She describes her life as a Cinderella story. Sitting in the middle of the main studio at WHNT recently, Linda told me, “I’m just a little country gal from Anniston, Alabama and I’ve always been at the right spot at the right time with the right people and said yes a couple of times […]

  • Retired WHNT News 19 broadcaster releases third book, “Bernie’s Paris: Travel Stories with Love”

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Linda Spalla calls her television career “an incredible journey and a Cinderella story.”  She started as a sales secretary in 1975 at WHNT News 19 and retired 25 years later as President and General Manager. “I was indeed blessed to work with incredible people and tried always to hire folks smarter than I was.  It paid off and we had a magical ride,” she told me. The journey she’s enjoying now is as a writer. She has just […]

  • Local athlete sees things on the football field differently

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Saint John Paul II Catholic High School’s football team is still looking for that first win this season. But despite being 0-9, what the team lacks in W’s, it makes up with a story of inspiration. Jay Spencer loves playing football. JP II head football coach John Mumford describes Jay by simply saying, “He’s very quick. He’s the most explosive kid off the ball.” The 16-year-old sophomore plays hard. And he’s tough. “Quite frankly, pound for pound […]

  • 86-year-old Ider woman loves running 5K races

    IDER, Ala. – George Jones sang about not needing a rocking chair. Neither do Clyde and Imogene Greene. Their children gave them two rocking chairs 10 years ago. They’re on the couple’s front porch in Ider, but Clyde and Imogene never use them. They don’t have time to sit around. The DeKalb County couple just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. When they first met, she was 16. He’d just come home from the Navy. It was love at first sight. “Pretty […]

  • A buffet of golden spoon winners this week!

    Didn’t Cut the Mustard: Tuscumbia, Inc. at 1021 Highway 72 E in Tuscumbia: Score of 75 No paper towels at kitchen hand sink and no toilet paper in men’s restroom -10 day notice no sanitizing test papers available -10 day notice given Mold on fountain diffusers -3 day notice given Reach in cooler holding deli sandwiches at 45 F -3 day notice given Golden Spoon: Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 2881 Florence Blvd in Florence: Score of 99 The […]