With the Philadelphia Bulletin planning to close, the New York Daily News remains the other major newspaper on the sales block.

Discussions with several potential buyers continue, according to a News spokesman, but the paper apparently has no firm offer.

When the Chicago-based Tribune Co. announced Dec. 18 that the News was up for sale, no deadline was set.

John Morton, the respected newspaper analyst of the Washington office of Lynch, Jones and Ryan, is not optimistic about finding a buyer for the News.

"I haven't heard a thing," said Morton, who discounts the importance of the News holding discussions with would-be buyers. "Who defines what talks are and how significant they are?" Morton asked.

The search for a buyer is being conducted for the Tribune Co. by the Chicago office of Salomon Bros. Inc.

J. Ira Harris, managing director of the Salomon office, who is handling discussions, could not be reached today. Les Bridges, vice president and director of marketing at the News, said: "There are conversations going on even as we speak between Salomon Bros. and potential buyers."

The News has a circulation of 1.5 million daily and 2 million Sunday, according to Bridges. But the paper has been losing money for years, and the Tribune apparently decided to sell after the News lost $20 million on an abortive attempt last year at an afternoon paper.

Bridges maintains that the News has a stronger financial core than either the Bulletin or the Washington Star, which folded last year.