Higgins previously worked at The Bolton News, The Gazette, Blackpool, The Lancashire Evening Post and the Oldham Advertiser during his 13 year career in regional newspapers.
His promotion follows the appointment of previous editor and publisher, Jonathan Lee, to the newly-created role of managing director.
Last year he was responsible for the first re-design at the paper in more than ten years.
At that time he explained his thought on the paper’s direction saying: “The Evening Mail is a much-loved newspaper in the community, so the redesign project was all about achieving the right balance between affecting change and modernising, while not alienating our loyal readers.”
“I am confident that we have a team well placed to meet the challenges we will face, and maximise opportunities that will arise in a truly multi-media, multi-platform age.
“It is important that we continue to grow and nurture talent to lead us through the transformation in a fast-changing industry.