Wisconsin TV station owner sues over duo’s on-air prank

EAU CLAIRE — The owner of a Wisconsin television station is suing over an on-air prank pulled by the duo behind The Found Footage Festival.

Atlanta-based Gray Television, which owns WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, filed a federal lawsuit this month against the festival, which showcases videos found at garage sales and thrift stores, and hosts Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher.

The lawsuit alleges Pickett and Prueher used fake names and “fraudulently induced” the station to book their appearance last November as the strongman duo Chop and Steele. On air, the suit says the pair “performed ridiculous bits,” such as slamming tennis rackets against each other.

Prueher told the Leader-Telegram the duo plans to fight the lawsuit.

WEAU general manager Terry McHugh said neither he nor the attorney representing Gray Television would comment.