Bruce, who has left his post as Birmingham manager to take up the job at the JJB Stadium, was expected at a 1pm press conference in Wigan on Wednesday.
Wigan chief executive Brenda Spencer said: "The club are confident that the situation, which is beyond their control, will be resolved quickly and the club will be in a position to make an announcement in the very near future."
Spencer added: "We thought we would be announcing the new manager this afternoon and, as you all know, it was going to be Steve Bruce.
"Unfortunately something has come up. It is an issue between Birmingham and Steve and, until it is resolved, we cannot announce him as our new manager.
"Our chairman (Dave Whelan) is desperate that we have a manager in place and he is hopeful that something will happen in the next 24 hours. I think we just have to sit tight, hold fire and hope that something will be resolved." "We did have a list but Steve is our number one choice.
We definitely want him and he wants to come to Wigan. He is very upset because we hoped to have him appointed today but nothing is going to happen today."
Asked if Bruce's plan to take Eric Black, his number two at St Andrews, with him to the JJB Stadium had influenced the delay Spencer replied: "It is nothing to do with anything else. Just between Birmingham and Steve."