High-flying Newcastle scored a goal in each half through Mo Diame and Christian Atsu to condemn Wigan to another home defeat.
The Toon dominated the opening half and should have added to Diame’s opener as Latics failed to get a shot on target before the interval.
The home team were much better in the second half and might have equalised through substitute Andy Kellett but keeper Karl Darlow made a good save at close range.
However the three points were sealed on 78 minutes when Atsu found himself in plenty of space inside the area and fired home for the visitors.
Newcastle are now a point clear of Brighton at the top, while Latics remain rooted in 23rd place and four points from safety.
Warren Joyce decided upon a more positive line-up than in recent games with striker Will Grigg making his first start under the new manager in place of the injured Reece Burke.
Newcastle United came into the game in confident mood on the back of a 4-0 home victory against Birmingham City and they set about dominating proceedings right from the kick off.
The visitors first opportunity of the game came on nine minutes when former Latic Mo Diame forced a full length save from Jussi Jaaskelainen with a 25 yard effort.
Latics were trying to get a foothold in the game but they struggled to keep possession and rarely threatened the visitors goal.
Matt Richie tried his luck from outside the box on 23 minutes but just three minutes later Newcastle were ahead through Diame. The big midfielder played a neat one-two and then shrugged off a couple of challenges before slotting the ball past Jaaskelainen.
Latics tried to respond but they failed to get a shot on target throughout the first half and the gulf in class was for all to see.
Newcastle might have added to their lead just before the break when Jonjo Shelvey’s strike from the edge of the area went narrowly wide of Jaaskelainen’s left post.
Latics were lucky to go into the interval only one down given the visitors dominance.
However, Latics produced a much improved performance in the second half and might have drawn level on three occasions.
First Shaun MacDonald narrowly headed Max Power’s corner just over the crossbar.
Then from another corner on 58 minutes Will Grigg’s flicked header went just wide of Karl Darlow’s right post.
As Latics continued to press their best chance came on 66 minutes through substitute Andy Kellett.
Captain Stephen Warnock crossed from the left and found Kellett at the far post who forced a great close range save from Darlow.
But with 12 minutes remaining the visitors sealed the points through substitute Christian Atsu, who picked up Yoan Gouffran’s cross from the left hand side and lashed the ball past Jaaskelainen.
Latics brought on substitute Craig Davies for Shaun MacDonald on 80 minutes but the big striker failed to have any impact and Newcastle comfortably held onto their lead.
Wigan had worked hard, particularly in the second half, but there was always a feeling that Newcastle still had plenty to spare and they could always go up a gear if required.
Newcastle were promotion favourites at the beginning of the season and on this form it will not be long before their promotion is confirmed.