Fundraising pitches by House Speaker Newt Gingrich drew unprecedented media coverage and helped to boost March pledge receipts at WPBA, Atlanta, home-town public TV station for the powerful Georgia Republican who has vowed to end federal aid for public broadcasting. Gingrich taped a series of spots urging national and local viewers to “open your wallets” and support public television. “Tell them Newt Gingrich asked you to help make sure that PBS stays on the air and Channel 30 stays strong because more than ever it’s going to need our support as individuals to make sure it has the funding it needs,” the congressman said in a self-scripted 45-second message for Atlanta viewers. Late last week, only a handful of stations elsewhere had begun to use national versions of the spots in their on-air campaigns. WCET, Cincinnati, reported that viewers had responded negatively to its use of the pitch.