"The task of appointing a new manager now begins."
Hughton released a statement through the League Managers' Association (LMA) saying he was "immensely proud" of his achievements and wished the club "all the very best for the future".
It added: "The termination of my contract is now in the hands of the LMA and I will therefore be making no further comment at this stage."
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: "The LMA is extremely disappointed that Newcastle have parted company with Chris given the success the club has experienced since his appointment.
"Throughout his time at Newcastle, Chris has conducted himself with tremendous integrity and dignity, the team's current position of 11th demonstrating the stabilising effect Chris has had in his role as manager during his period at Newcastle."
Hughton's former assistant Colin Calderwood said the news was not entirely unexpected.
Calderwood, who left St James' Park to take the manager's post at Hibernian in October, told BBC Radio 5 live: "There's a great deal of shock but [it's] not unexpected because of the knowledge I had when I was there and the sort of regime that he [Hughton] was working under. It makes it difficult.
"You want to know the parameters of the job and they keep changing, and you're not allowed to do what you think's feasible or logical then it becomes very difficult to do your job as well as you can and at the minute the job has been done well terrifically well.
"I think you want to be able to make decisions that affect the whole of the football club at the end it became more and more difficult to do that.
It makes no sense. Here is a guy who has done an unbelievable job
Newcastle defender Sol Campbell
"In terms of understanding what the budget would be and the parameters of that... it started in one place then moved to the other."
Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan said the club's players were shocked by the decision.
"We are all upset that Chris is going. He helped a lot of the lads here with their careers when he was a coach and then as manager," he told The Sun.
"We will never forget our promotion from the Championship last season and we have to do what he told us - stick together, make sure we keep the unity Chris has built up and get through this difficult period.
"It goes without saying we were shocked by the announcement."
He added: "We have not had the greatest run recently. But we are halfway up the table and he was very confident we would still do well and spoke about how he believed in us."
Magpies defender Sol Campbell was also critical of the decision.
"This will hit the players hard," the former England centre-back told
"The players admired him and liked him and won't be happy now he's gone like this.
"It makes no sense. Here is a guy who has done an unbelievable job. He got the club back into the Premier League and any manager would have been rewarded for that with a new contract, but Chris wasn't.
"The players are sure to be asking themselves 'what the hell is going on?', that is only natural.
"When we left training this morning none of the players had a clue this was coming. Yes, it has come as a shock, and it will affect the dressing room there is no doubt about that."
Former Magpies defender John Anderson, who is now a summariser for BBC Radio Newcastle, commented: "This is something that's been going on for a while, they've known for a while that they want to get rid of him.
"You just wish he would get angry and come out and say what he feels, but he won't."
Ex-West Ham manager Pardew and Jol were installed as the early bookmakers' favourites for the job, but Anderson said it is difficult to predict what the club will do next.
"Grab a name from anywhere - it could be anybody, it could be Curbishley, it could be Pardew," he told BBC Radio Newcastle.
"I don't think it'll be Martin O'Neill because he will want too many assurances that they won't be able to give them."
Sheffield United assistant boss John Carver, who had a brief spell as caretaker manager at St James' Park under Sir Bobby Robson, said the decision was "a travesty".
"I'm devastated and angry," he told BBC Radio Newcastle. "It's another situation where you have a young coach-manager learning his stripes like he did last year in the Championship, did a fantastic job, did the job with style.
"He then took them into the Premier League on limited resources, brought in some decent players and this has happened."
Newcastle-born Beardsley, who played more than 300 games for the club during two spells between 1983 and 1997, has been reserve team manager since the start of the season.
The club said he will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and be supported by ex-Nottingham Forest winger Steve Stone, who has been his assistant reserve team manager.
The Magpies are next in action when they host Liverpool, one of Beardsley's former clubs, in the Premier League on Saturday.
Speculation has been growing for weeks regarding Hughton's future, although the club stated in October they would be looking to extend his contract in the new year.
The defeat at The Hawthorns, after which Hughton kept his players in the dressing room for an hour, was the Magpies' seventh of a season in a campaign in which they have won only two games at home.
However, these were a 5-1 victory over local rivals Sunderland in October and a 6-0 triumph against Aston Villa back in August.
They have registered wins at Everton and Arsenal this season under Hughton, but have picked up only two points from a possible 15 since the victory at the Emirates on 7 November. Those results have led to the former Republic of Ireland defender becoming the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season.
Hughton, who has been working without an assistant manager since Calderwood's departure, is followed out of St James' Park by goalkeeping coach Paul Barron.
Former Tottenham player and assistant manager Hughton arrived at Newcastle from White Hart Lane in February 2008 as coach to then Magpies boss Kevin Keegan.
Hughton served as caretaker manager when Keegan left in September 2008, before reverting to assistant boss when Joe Kinnear was appointed manager on a temporary basis.
When Kinnear fell ill in February 2009, Hughton again stepped in, before working alongside Iain Dowie as an assistant to Alan Shearer as Newcastle were relegated at the end of the 2008/09 campaign.
Hughton was once again placed in caretaker charge in the summer of 2009, as owner Mike Ashley sought to sell the club, but the team started the Championship season so well he was given the role on a permanent basis in October 2009.
Hughton went on to guide Newcastle to the Championship title with two games to spare.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.