Gold Logie nominees Hamish Blake and Andy Lee will "open" this year's TV Week Logie Awards next month but organisers are saying the telecast will not have an official host.
It will be the second year running the broadcast has not had a host. The last host was actor/comedian Shane Bourne, who hosted in 2011.
The move is part of a strategy to insulate the Logies from excessive media emphasis on a single person in the lead-up to the broadcast, and what usually follows in the days after: a landslide of criticism.
Like many similar gigs around the world, including the Oscars, Emmys and the Golden Globes, the gig is considered a poisoned chalice for good reason.
Few, if any, who drink from it escape criticism since an industry crowd is widely regarded as a "tough room" for a host, even for professional comedians who are accustomed to handling unruly or disengaged audiences.
In that sense, there is a glorious dis-honour roll: Bryant Gumbel hosting the Emmys in 1997, Chris Rock hosting the Oscars in 2005, David Letterman hosting the Oscars in 1995. Uma, Oprah, anyone?
The Logies have experimented with the multi-presenter format in the past, first in 2005 when Eddie McGuire, Rove McManus and Andrew O'Keefe hosted, representing the three commercial networks.
In 2006 that idea expanded and the telecast was hosted by five former Gold Logie winners: Bert Newton, Ray Martin, Daryl Somers, Lisa McCune and Georgie Parker.
While the move away from a single host may seem sacrilegious - after all, a Logies without a host is like Christmas without Santa Claus - it does help shape media coverage of the night by sparing any one presenter undue attention.
The most damaging examples in the past decade have been Wendy Harmer in 2002 and Gretel Killeen in 2009. Both were given scorching postmortems even though, neither would have been on camera for more than 15 minutes across a three hour (or longer) telecast.
To host or not to host is a question that has perplexed television producers since John Logie Baird switched on the first electromechanical television set.
As recently as last month's Oscars in the US, host Seth McFarlane divided opinions as to whether he did a good or bad job. Some hailed him as funny. Others described the telecast as appalling.
"I expected more from the best that the movie business has to offer," actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote in the Huffington Post. "The Oscars are about honoring art and artists. It is not supposed to be a cheesy vaudeville show."
For the Logies, on whose stage a bit of vaudeville is never unwelcome, the safer option is to have Hamish Blake and Andy Lee "open" the show, but then to leave the individual introductions to a line up of high-profile guest presenters.
Blake and Lee have worked the Logie stage before; they were "backstage hosts" in 2007 and 2008.
In historical terms, the generational baton was passed in 1998, when Daryl Somers was the last of the old-style Logie hosts. (Somers hosted the awards five times in total; he is the second most prolific Logies host behind Bert Newton, who hosted it on 20 occasions.)
In 1999 the comedian (now television producer) Andrew Denton took over and immediately established a new, irreverent style.
Denton is best remembered for thanking the "traditional owners of the land" on which the Logies were being held (namely "the Packers" since the event was staged at Melbourne's Crown Casino) and for sitting on the lap of media tycoon Jamie Packer who seemed simultaneously appalled and delighted at what was transpiring.
In truth, however, TV Week's concern may be misplaced. In its modern history the Logie Awards have had more good hosts than bad. And some of the best single hosts of an awards telecast ever.
Denton's efforts in 1999 and 2000, and Shaun Micallef in 2001 spring to mind, with nods to Adam Hills in 2007 and Shane Bourne in 2011.
The Logies have also had better luck with the multi-presenter format than their international counterparts. The Emmys did it only once, in 2005, with Howie Mandel, Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum, Jeff Probst and Tom Bergeron. It was considered a failure.
TWENTY YEARS OF LOGIE HOSTS
2012: No host
2011: Shane Bourne
2010: Bert Newton
2009: Gretel Killeen
2008: No host
2007: Adam Hills, Dave Hughes and Fifi Box
2006: Bert Newton, Ray Martin, Daryl Somers, Lisa McCune and Georgie Parker
2005: Eddie McGuire, Rove McManus and Andrew O'Keefe
2004: Eddie McGuire
2003: Eddie McGuire
2002: Wendy Harmer
2001: Shaun Micallef
2000: Andrew Denton
1999: Andrew Denton
1998: Daryl Somers
1997: Daryl Somers
1996: Daryl Somers
1995: Andrew Daddo and Noni Hazlehurst
1994: Ray Martin
1993: Bert Newton
1992: Steve Vizard