• 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
  • 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 […]

  • Behaviorist explains how food affects our daily lives

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We use all five senses to enjoy food. We see a fried peach pie. We hear bacon frying in a skillet. We smell morning coffee brewing. We use our fingers to enjoy a funnel cake. We love the taste of sweet and salty. You get the idea. I sat down with Bill Nelson at Huntsville Hospital’s Center for Medical Weight Loss. He’s a behaviorist. I wanted to get a flavor of why we do what we do when […]

  • How Rick Isaacs is living with ALS

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, they face the choice of giving up or fighting. But Huntsville’s Rick Isaacs isn’t going down without a battle. He knows how to fight. Rick was an engineer and program manager at Sikorsky Aircraft for 33 years building helicopters like the Black Hawk and even Marine One, the president’s ride. “That was kinda my life and I thought it was my calling,” Rick told us. His mission now is much […]

  • Jerry shares a few of his favorite dishes in Health Matters

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Many of you have commented to Greg Screws and me you can tell we’re losing weight. And that’s good because it shows our hard work is paying off. We’re both still counting calories, eating healthier and working out at the gym.  We’re still on the journey and know that this is a marathon, not a sprint. And because we’re watching what we eat, I’ve tried some new variations on old favorites. I thought I’d share a couple of […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 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 […]

  • 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 […]