The sale of Washington Woman magazine apparently has run into some opposition from the monthly publication's shareholders.

Tricia Fox Gordon, president of the Wisconsin-based Regional Woman Inc., said earlier this month that her company had purchased the Washington Woman magazine.

But Rebecca Seely, a shareholder and one of the founders of the magazine, said the sale was never approved by the shareholders, whom she contended would get nothing under the terms of the deal. She said she is opposed to the sale.

The magazine's shareholders are expected to discuss the proposed sale at a meeting today. Earlier this month, Gordon said that as the new publisher she had fired many of the old employees and hired new staff members, had moved the magazine from Arlington to new offices at 1707 H St. NW in the District, and had supervised the redesign of the magazine to resemble Wisconsin Woman, the other magazine published by Gordon's company. A new advertising rate card distributed by Washington Woman lists Gordon as publisher of Washington Woman.

However, Mary Lou Beatty, who has been editor and publisher of Washington Woman for four years, said last week that Gordon has been acting as a publishing consultant until the shareholders approve the sale. Beatty said she expects the sale to be approved, and referred further questions to Joan Tobin, chairman of the magazine, who could not be reached for comment.

Seely, Beatty and Tobin were the founders of the magazine, which started publishing in 1984. Seely said she was the magazine's first publisher, but was forced out by Beatty and Tobin.

Seely said she has contacted a Fortune 1,000 company that might be interested in buying the magazine, which she said has accumulated enormous debts. Seely said if the company, which she declined to identify, agreed to buy the magazine, it would repay Washington Woman's debts and the shareholders would make money on the deal.

Some shareholders interviewed last week said that while they would prefer a deal that would give them some return on their investment, they were skeptical that the magazine could be sold for a substantial amount and added that they were wary of getting involved in a protracted legal battle.

Gordon said Beatty is to continue as editor of the magazine and that Tobin would have an advisory position at Regional Woman.