In the face of numerous comments by government officials in recent days that the recession has bottomed out, reports emerged Wednesday that NBC plans to make further substantial cuts in is news division. The New York Observer is reporting that a large number of NBC and MSNBC news staffers have been asked to take voluntary buyouts. The newspaper says that the staffers "were told that if targets weren't met voluntarily, employment challenges lurked ahead." The Observer said that NBC has even offered buyouts to a number of freelance employees who work for NBC under contracts with General Electric's Yoh staffing service. (On its website, Yoh features an article titled "How to make yourself layoff-proof.")