How Knowlton Nash signed off from The National

Knowlton Nash filled many roles in his time at CBC, but his profile may have been highest as the anchor for The National in the 1980s.

Anchor handed the reins to Peter Mansbridge in 1988

Knowlton Nash signs off

34 years ago
Duration 1:05
After nine years at the anchor desk, Nash thanks his crew and says goodbye to viewers.

Knowlton Nash had been the face of the CBC's flagship nightly news broadcast, The National, for almost a decade when he signed off on April 29, 1988.

"If I may add a personal note, this is my last night as the principal anchor of The National," he told viewers that night.

He recalled that there had been "hectic moments" as well as "memorable moments" on the job.

"But through them all, the most reassuring thing for me has been that army of professionals you never see on the air," he went on.

He said those writers, editors, producers, directors and technicians were "the real stars of this strange business of television news."

A successor for the anchor chair

Why Mansbridge stayed

35 years ago
Duration 0:50
In 1987, Knowlton Nash tells viewers he's decided to step down as anchor of The National.

Nash wasn't leaving the CBC altogether. He said he would be staying on at The National on weekends and producing documentaries for The Journal.

"On Monday, my friend and colleague Peter Mansbridge takes over the anchor chair here," said Nash.

This came as no surprise to anyone who had been paying attention to news of what was happening at The National.

In November 1987, Nash had announced his decision to leave the anchor chair, also at the end of the broadcast.

"I'm really pleased to report that my fellow CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge is staying with the CBC," Nash said at the end of a broadcast on Remembrance Day.

He referred to an "agonizing" decision Mansbridge had been confronting in the face of a "tantalizing" offer from American network CBS.

"I've felt it was critical for Peter to stay with us, and I'm pleased to have played a role in persuading him to do so," said Nash.

The National's Knowlton Nash is seen at his anchor desk in the 1980s in a CBC publicity photo. (CBC Still Photo Collection)

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