Interesting analysis and I think you're right. I'm also not sure your last statement is true.The publishing and promotion of Analog over the last 40 years seems odd at best. Looking at the stats, in 1983 the circulation was 110,000, dropping down to 83 000 in 1990. This in spite of the greater presence of SF in media which I would have thought would have led to, at least, stable numbers. Did Analog move away from its roots in those years and turn off some of the subscriber base? (my readings in 1988 make me wonder). In any case, you can't blame the Internet back then.
Then from 1990 onwards the numbers kept dwindling away. Now, I realize that all print magazines have suffered over the last couple of decades. But it doesn't seem like Analog is putting up much of a fight compared to other magazines that I am subscribed to. Just to give one example, there aren't even any forums at the Analog website where people can discuss hard SF stories in general, and Analog ones in particular. That omission just seems very strange. Maybe they're worried about negative feedback?
And the lack of ads is puzzling. Jeepers, if a publisher put an ad or two in every issue for a solid SF novel, in tune with the Analog philosophy, I'd probably bite.
Then look at gaming. Back in the 1970's - 1980's there were ads in every issue for games. Today, an ad for Terraforming Mars would be a perfect fit for Analog readers. Or at least bring back the gaming column.
Anyway, I'm sure brighter people than myself have looked at this and perhaps there are good reasons why none of that flies.