Direct Operating Expenses, Excluding Depreciation and Amortization
Direct operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2012 increased $3.4 million, or 1.9%, to $177.4 million, compared to $174.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011. This was primarily driven by increases in programming and health related benefits expenses as compared to the prior year quarter. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in music licensing fees.
Corporate General and Administrative Expenses, Including Stock-based Compensation Expense
Corporate general and administrative expenses, including stock-based compensation expense, for the three months ended December 31, 2012 decreased $17.8 million, or 62.0%, to $11.0 million, compared to $28.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011. This decrease is primarily comprised of a $10.8 million decrease in acquisition and restructuring costs related to the merger with Citadel Broadcasting Corp. (the "Citadel Merger") and the acquisition of Cumulus Media Partners, LLC (the "CMP Acquisition") completed in 2011 and a $4.8 million decrease in stock-based compensation expense.
Impairment of Intangible Assets and Goodwill
For the three months ended December 31, 2012, we recorded impairment charges of $100.0 million and $14.7 million related to goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets (FCC Licenses), respectively. In the fourth quarter of 2012, as the Company was beginning its annual impairment test of goodwill and FCC Licenses, format and structural changes made in the first half of 2012 in certain markets acquired during the second half of 2011 had not achieved the expected results for fiscal year 2012. As a result, certain markets failed step 1 of our annual impairment test of goodwill. There were no similar impairments in 2011.
Interest Expense, net
Total interest expense, net of interest income, for the three months ended December 31, 2012 decreased $3.6 million, or 7.0%, to $48.4 million compared to $52.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011. Interest expense decreased due to a lower average amount of indebtedness outstanding in the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.