LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Screen Actors Guild has rejected a proposed merger with a rival union that represents television broadcasters and voice-over artists.

Only 46 percent of the SAG members who voted in the referendum favored merging with the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists _ far below the 60 percent required for approval.

About 45 percent of SAG's 98,375 members voted.

AFTRA said Wednesday that 68 percent of its members who participated in the referendum favored the merger. The union has 71,437 members, and about 40 percent returned ballots.

Labor organizers had hoped the combined union would have ended clashes on which group has the right to regulate actors appearing on videotapes, high definition television and digital recording projects.

SAG traditionally controls film jobs, and contends jobs created by new technology fall into the film category. AFTRA traditionally has represented the non-film jobs.

``The merger would have swept these conflicts aside,'' SAG president Richard Masur said. ``I consider this to be a real loss.''

After SAG announced the results of its member referendum, AFTRA president Shelby Scott was conciliatory.

``While we regret the results on the SAG side, we are committed to work on new ways to cooperate with the Guild for the protection and benefit of our members,'' Scott said.

SAG national director Ken Orsatti said many members feared the added competition of an increased number of Guild members chasing an unchanged number of jobs.