The $0.1 million, or 1.5% year-over-year improvement in 2010 third quarter operating income reflects a 1.6% reduction in total operating expenses during the period which more than offset a $1.5 operating expense benefit in the 2009 third quarter related to the sale of certain Las Vegas radio assets. The 2010 third quarter operating expense reduction reflects a 10.0% decline in station operating expenses primarily due to an approximate $1.5 million reduction in costs at the Company's Miami-Fort Lauderdale market cluster inclusive of an approximate $1.2 million elimination of costs incurred in the 2009 third quarter related to the non-renewed sports programming rights. In addition, third quarter 2009 operating expenses included approximately $0.4 million of station operating expenses for certain Las Vegas radio assets that were sold in August 2009. Corporate general and administrative expenses in the 2010 third quarter were essentially flat with 2009 third quarter levels.
Third quarter 2010 station operating income (SOI), a non-GAAP financial measure, rose $1.5 million, or 22.5% to $8.4 million compared with the 2009 third quarter. On a same-station basis, third quarter 2010 SOI rose 10.3% to $8.4 million, from $7.6 million in the same period of 2009.
The growth in 2010 third quarter net income and net income per basic and diluted share reflect the rise in operating income in the period, a $0.2 million, or 7.8% reduction in interest expense as a result of lower outstanding credit facility balances and a $0.4 million, or 23.6% reduction in income tax expense.
Please refer to the "Calculation of SOI," "Reconciliation of SOI to Net Income," "Calculation of Same- Station SOI," and "Reconciliation of Same-Station SOI to Net Income" tables at the end of this announcement for a discussion regarding SOI calculations.Commenting on the results, George G. Beasley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Beasley Broadcast Group continues to benefit from the rebound in radio advertising activity and is focused on driving profitable revenue growth from our market clusters. Reflecting this focus, during the 2010 third quarter we significantly improved operating results at our station clusters in Miami and Las Vegas, two of the three largest markets where we operate. With the significant operating leverage in our business model related to company-wide expense reductions, the 2.6% rise in third quarter same-station net revenue drove a 10.3% rise in same station SOI. Reflecting station level expense management disciplines, the Company generated third quarter same station SOI margins of 35.0%, up from 32% in the comparable period last year.