Back in the U.S., James Citkovic landed a recording deal for his band, Black Cat, along with several additional publishing contracts for his own music. Taking note of his successes on the business side of things, many of James's musician friends began asking for his help with their own music careers and, in 1983, Citkovic founded Countdown Entertainment and began concentrating on other people's careers.
Over his many years as a music manager, James Citkovic secured hundreds of deals for his clients including nearly 50 albums, 50+ singles and dozens of international licensing, publishing and film and TV soundtrack contracts. He has also partnered with other major music managers including Michael Lang (Woodstock, Joe Cocker, Billy Joel), Mike Appel (Bruce Springsteen), John Regna (Jose Feliciano, ELO) and Betty Kelapire (Trammps), among others.
In the mid-90s, as the traditional record industry reorganized and the roles of managers began to change, James Citkovic recognized that music publishing and masters were becoming increasingly valuable commodities and he guided Countdown Entertainment in a new direction – that of brokering intellectual properties such as music publishing catalogues and masters and the sale and acquisition of other entertainment properties.