THE JUDGE HASN'T even been appointed in the Barry Bonds trial and already KTVU-Channel 2 has a dilemma.

Since John Burris, one of the Fox affiliate's go-to legal analysts, is employed by Bonds, to whom will the station turn for insights once the story becomes top-of-the-news material next month?

"You might want to mention that our own Rita Williams broke the story (of the indictment) Thursday at 2:03 p.m.," KTVU news director Ed Chapuis noted. "I guess we won't be using John Burris this time, but we've used several different legal analysts in the past."

Atop the KTVU Rolodex on Friday, on the morning after the indictment, was ESPN's Lester Munson. Expect a fresh face Dec.7 when Bonds heads to court.

The wheels are spinning at KRON-Channel 4, KPIX-Channel 5, KGO-Channel 7 and KNTV-Channel 11 as well. Here's where they're headed:

-Channel 4: The last-in-the-ratings station refused to divulge its game plan to the competition. Maybe Gary Radnich can call upon Tony Bruno.

-Channel 5: Former Superior Court judge LaDoris Cordell will provide the analysis for KPIX. A Stanford Law School graduate, Cordell has returned to The Farm to serve as a vice provost and special counselor to the president for campus relations.

-Channel 7: The folks at KGO were so impressed with Dean Johnson's work on the Scott Peterson case, they put the former prosecutor on full-time retainer.


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Now a defense attorney in San Mateo County, Johnson will take center stage again for Channel 7 in the Bonds case.

-Channel 11: A company spokesperson said the San Jose-based station has no plan as of yet.

Authoring a new career

ESPN also is gearing up for the Bonds trial, and not merely by warming up their legal analyst — former CNN "Burden of Proof" co-host Roger Cossack.

Shortly before the Bonds indictment came news that "Game of Shadows" co-author Mark Fainaru-Wada was leaving The Chronicle to join a new investigative team at ESPN. He goes onto the Bristol, Conn., payroll Monday.

Worst thing I saw all week

Fourth-and-10 at the St. Louis 28 with just under 2:00 to go Sunday with his team down seven, Mike Nolan summoned for Joe Nedney to kick a meaningless field goal. Yes, meaningless. With or without a successful three-pointer, the 49ers needed a touchdown to keep from losing. By kicking away one of their two remaining chances, the 49ers' odds of losing increased by 50 percent.

Three you gotta see

-Warriors at Celtics (Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., FSN): The top team in the East against one of the worst in the West. Hmmm ... should be close.

-College football: USC at Arizona State (Thursday, 5 p.m., ESPN): Let's not count the Trojans out of the Rose Bowl hunt just yet.

-College football: Missouri vs. Kansas (Saturday, 5 p.m., ABC): The road to New Orleans goes through Kansas City. Who'd have known?

Scanning the airwaves

The NFL Network schedule kicks off with a real snoozer: Indianapolis at Atlanta on Thanksgiving night. But give it a second chance. It has Green Bay at Dallas on Thursday the 29th. ...

How unpopular was the NASCAR Nextel Cup finale in the Bay Area on Sunday? When the Raiders game ended at 1 p.m., more than three times as many viewers here stuck around for the CBS postgame show (413,147) than were watching the ice chill Jimmie Johnson's champagne on ABC (127,122). ...

Got ESPNU? The top men's basketball game in the Bay Area so far this season — Oregon at St. Mary's — airs tonight at 7.

Dave Del Grande accepts media-related comments via e-mail at dave@bayareanewsgroup.com.