Owners Venky's were in attendance for Appleton's Ewood Park debut and received a predictably hostile greeting from the home support before the new manager endured the sort of insipid first-half display that so undermined predecessors Steve Kean and Henning Berg.
A magnificent long-range half-volley from Dale Stephens gave Charlton a deserved lead and Rovers full-back Martin Olsson, a transfer target for West Ham, cleared off the line from Lawrie Wilson to prevent further damage.
Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes produced a superb diving header to level matters and net his 15th goal in 25 Blackburn appearances but, after Stephens spurned a glorious opportunity for his second, Yann Kermorgant leapt highest to decisively re-establish Charlton's lead in the 64th minute.
Chris Powell's Addicks leapfrog Blackburn to go 12th in the table, while the pre-season promotion favourites lie 10 points shy of the play-off places in 14th.
- Sports & Recreation