Shay McAlister is an anchor and investigative journalist at WHAS11 in Louisville, KY. She joined the team in July of 2015, fresh out of the University of Missouri and eager to learn. Through years reporting in Kentuckiana, she found a passion for shining a light on areas that would probably prefer to be dark.
Shay’s steadfast and relentless approach to journalism has led to federal accountability and legislative changes on a local level. In 2018, she launched the UNSOLVED series, which covers Kentucky’s cold cases and brings families closer to getting answers. Shay has led the coverage of the Bardstown mysteries, narrating the chart-topping podcast ‘BARDSTOWN’ in 2019. Her years-long investigation into nonprofit Wildlife in Need led to authorities stepping in to shut down the animal refuge, riddled with accusations of wrongdoing, and set the stage for new legal accountability for similar organizations.
But Shay says she is most proud of her work with the ACE Project. In 2015, she met grieving mother Rose Smith, at her son’s vigil. Smith’s son had been murdered the year before. The two kept in touch for years, as Smith started a non-profit in her son’s honor. In 2017, Rose told Shay about her biggest dream yet- she wanted to build a community center on the property where her son was killed. In May of 2019, Shay and Rose officially opened neighborhood center ‘The ACE Place’. Shay sits on the board of the ACE Project today.
Since moving to Louisville, has been awarded two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, four Regional Emmy Awards and numerous AP Awards including ‘Best TV Reporter.’
After moving around often while growing up, Shay said it feels right to put down roots in the Ohio Valley with her dog June and cat Monday. She “Louisville has my heart and is my home.”