Roberta Reardon, National president, American Federation of Television & Radio Artists

Dealmakers Impact Report 2011: Executive

As Reardon works “endless” hours to meet a January target of finalizing a proposal to merge her union with SAG, she reflects on what made the deal so attractive. “By (merging), we have an exciting opportunity to build real power and leverage at the bargaining table for all of our members across the full spectrum of entertainment and media,” she says. Reardon is working closely with top AFTRA lieutenants Bob Edwards, Gabrielle Carteris, Matthew Kimbrough and Lainie Cooke. “A single, new union is critically urgent … (and) our members need one to safeguard their interests no matter where they work or on what platform their work appears.”

Reardon has hit resistance along the way, but some of the toughest battles lie ahead, especially with regard to national contracts governing sound recording and network TV. She’ll meet with SAG brass for one final powwow on Dec. 11-12. “(Still there) is the human tendency to reflect backwards, instead of looking to the future,” notes the one-time sudser and commercial actress. “This tendency is understandable. I fight against it myself every day. But old habits and ideas are unhelpful when you’re trying to envision a new and better way of doing things.”

KEY DEAL: Merging AFTRA with SAG

SPARE TIME: Cooking dinner for friends.

TOP CAUSE: The Actors Fund

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