"Knowlton and I were the same age. Both of us were foreign correspondents who covered conflicts the world over and both of us became CBC managers and program hosts," Schlesinger, 86, said.
"Journalism was a very different business when we started. Then television came along and everything changed. Knowlton made the switch several years before I did and he became a role model for me."
Schlesinger said Nash's best quality was his ability to be natural and humble.
"You need patience. It's something I lacked and had to learn from him," he said. "One of the things that changed about The National was that the evening news used to be read by announcers who didn't necessarily know what the story was about.
"It paid for someone like Knowlton, who had been there and knew similar situations, so he could more or less figure out what it was all about — and change it if necessary."
Of Nash's legacy, Schlesinger said it came down to improving The National, improving and reshaping the CBC — and being humble about it.
"He wasn't that kind of top-down guy who just set rules. He would listen. It takes empathy to listen to all sorts of opinions even if you think they're not exactly what's needed. He will be missed."