"The Gasman" has been talking sports on KJR since 1991, hosting more than 5,000 shows.

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One of the longest-tenured voices in Seattle sports radio is leaving his current role. KJR-AM announced Tuesday that Mike Gastineau will depart the station following his Thursday show.

Gastineau, known on-air as “the Gasman,” has been at KJR for 21 years, and since September 1993 has worked in the afternoon drive show (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) solo or with co-hosts such as Dave Grosby, or his current sidekick, Elise Woodward.

In a statement from the station Tuesday afternoon, Gastineau said he was leaving to explore other opportunities.

“Since 1991 I have hosted more than 5,000 shows on KJR and I’ve reached a point where I’d like to explore other creative options. KJR’s management has been incredibly understanding and supportive of my decision,” Gastineau said in the statement. “I’m proud to have been able to give Seattle fans a voice in these incredibly important debates. I always strived to do three things on the show — be funny, entertaining and give people a place for reasonable debate on sports issues of the day.”

In a later tweet, Gastineau called it “my choice and a positive thing.”

Rich Moore, the program director for KJR-AM, said in a statement: “I can’t thank Mike enough — both personally and professionally, for his talent, dedication and passion. Mike has been a pillar for Sports Radio KJR and a sports icon in the Seattle market. His voice on Sports Talk in the afternoon will be missed and his relationship with listeners in the market will not be forgotten. We wish him nothing but the best in his next chapter.”

Gastineau arrived in Seattle in June 1991 and was at KJR-AM when it made the switch to an all-sports format in October 1991, according to the same news release from the station.

Gastineau also spearheaded a yearly auction, the “KJR Kares-a-thon,” which has raised more than $1.5 million in 17 years for Puget Sound charities, according to the station’s news release.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com