Breakingviews has this analysis.
I plan on starting a new category for this blog about new media and the future of for-profit content. That doesn't sound like it has anything to do with "the art and science of identifying great investors," but I hope it will.
For now I'll point to Reader's Digest as a great potential case study in the declining economics of a once-fantastic business. It's hard to imagine today what a great business it was in its prime. Why was a collection of articles more or less stolen from other publications so profitable once upon a time? Why did that change? It's also a case study in the difference between publishing "success" and profitability. The magazine is still the best-selling consumer magazine in the country, its total worldwide readership is about 100 million, the brand is extremely well known--and yet revenues barely budged in the past decade, at only $2.5 billion. That's $25 per reader per year, about what I spend on a nice dinner here in NYC.
It's also a case study in the difference between revenues and profits. Even though its content comes from other publications, making it relatively inexpensive to gather, the company has still managed to lose money every year since 2005, predating the LBO which added a lot of debt.
Finally, if the business model of Reader's Digest eventually declined, why is The Week, published by Felix Dennis, apparently thriving when it does essentially the same thing?