Washington Star Communications, Inc., continued a recent series of acquisitions yesterday, buying the Morning News and Evening News of Paterson, N.J., for an undisclosed purchase price.

Joe L. Allbritton, chairman of the local firm, said in a prepared statement that acquisition of the Northern New Jersey newspapers "is a mayor step in our company's plan to expand its publishing intertsts."

Within the past year, Washington Star Communications also has purchased the Westfield, Mass. Evening News: the Wallace Pennysaver, also in Westfield: the York County Coast Star of Kennebunk, Me., and the Sanford, Me., Star.

Allbrition's firm also is parent company of The Washington Star and it owns WJLA-TV, the Washington Star Syndicate, and broadcast outlets in Lynchburg, Va., and Charleston, S.C.

According to Audit Bureau of Circulation data for the six months ended last Sept. 30, the Paterson newspapers have a morning circulation of 27,118, an evening circulation of 37,425, and a Saturday circulation of nearly 60,000. No editions are published on Sundays.

Washington Star Communications purchased News Printing Co., Inc., publishers of the newspapers - which operate under an all-day formate. The newspapers were bought from Edward B. Haines, editor-publisher and grandson of the founder (who had the same name).

The Paterson papers were started in 1890 and have remained in the Haines family. The company employs about 373 persons and industry sources estimated annual revenues at $3-$10 million - a figure that often is close to a newspaper purchase price.

Combined Communications Inc., and Washington Star Communications agreed in March to a swap deal under which the Phoenix-based firm will acquire WJLA-TV in exchange for $65 million of stock and KOCO-TV, an Oklahoma City station owned by Combined and valued at $25 million by broadcast sources.

Star Communications also announced an agreement in principle to sell WLVA-AM in Lynchburg. The sale of Star broadcast properties in Washington was required under a Federa Communications Commission order that all but one communications enterprise here be divested by 1979.