The last time the prestigious award show went without a host was in 1989, when actor Rob Lowe was criticized for his musical duet with Snow White.
Reports had been swirling for weeks that the Oscars wouldn't have a host for its February 24 ceremony, as Burke affirmed in her remarks Tuesday.
Burke said the decision was taken after what she called "the messiness" over the Hart withdrawal and an attempt to revive his chances.
"We have a very exciting opener planned", ABC president Karey Burke teased at the Television Critics Association on Tuesday (via The Hollywood Reporter), adding, "We are not going to go straight into people thanking their agents".
"After that, it was pretty clear that we were going to stay the course", she explained. As relayed by The Hollywood Reporter, she also confirmed that the goal is to keep the show to three hours, which is good news considering last year's event was nearly as long as Gone With The Wind. "The producers chose to wisely not have a host and have the presenters and the movies be the stars. People really care", Burke said.
In recent years, several other hosts have also come under criticism.
She added that speculation over the shape of the ceremony was an encouraging sign that the Oscars were still relevant.
"Ironically, the lack of clarity surrounding the Oscars has kept the Oscars really in the conversation and the mystery has been compelling".
Mexican drama "Roma" and British historical comedy "The Favourite" lead the Oscars nominations with 10 nods apiece.
Burke also lauded the movie academy's pledge to keep the ceremony to three hours, avoiding the overtime that can drain off viewers. "There are big popular movies being nominated".