If you read a lot about typography, you probably have read that the ideal measure (also called line length) that is recommended is between 45-75 characters (somewhere around 2-3 alphabets) including white space, with 66 as the ideal. According to Robert Bringhurst, an oft cited source of this information, beyond 75 is ok up to around 90, but that he discourages this use for deep reading tasks due to pacing and cognitive reasons. In doing my own research into this, I've run into a quandary however.
I've been researching how major news organizations set their paragraphs, and at least for online materials I found that after researching a good number of high profile organizations I found that the average measure between them was ~87 characters (53-119 swing). This, in some cases is well beyond the deep reading recommendation and it makes me wonder whether these major organizations have made small missteps in their typographic setting with regards to responsive layouts, or whether these ideals (words per line, flow of text, etc...) are slightly less rigid than what is commonly purported.
I'd like some clarification, or maybe just thoughts that aren't my own on this.
Polled Orgs: Al Jazeera, BBC, Boston Globe, CBS Sports, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Google News, Mashable, NY Times, New Yorker, NPR, Sports Illustrated, The Telegraph, The Times, The Verge, The Guardian, Time, USA Today, Washington Post, Wired, Yahoo News, PBS, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Bloomberg, Politico, Fox News, Breitbart, Huffington Post, Smashing Mag, A List Apart, Nielsen Norman, Stack Exchange, Typewolf